Eyes on the U.S.

One LCO says Americans want companies that use fewer chemicals.

  • May 26, 2012
  • Lee Chilcote

Peter Bugden opened a Nutri-Lawn franchise in the early 1990s in Halifax, Nova Scotia because he thought it was a good brand for the Canadian market. It turns out that he was right – nearly 20 years later, he’s built a company with $1.8 million in revenues.

Now Bugden is turning his eyes stateside, eyeing opportunities for a lawn care operator with environmentally-friendly lawn care experience as well as the Nutri-Lawn brand in the U.S. market. He also believes that his own experiences position him well for this market.

“Fifteen years ago, people in Canada responded when I told them that we don’t blanket spray weed control and we maintain soil PH,” said Bugden. “We weren’t activists; we weren’t people who said that we didn’t want any chemical fertilizers on our lawns.”

When Bugden visited the Greater Boston area to scope out opportunities, he saw evidence that consumers want lawn care services that use fewer chemicals or none at all. This is a growing U.S. market that may be underserved in many areas, he said.

“People want to feel good about what they’re doing, and want to feel like they’re good environmental citizens,” he said. “If people are given the opportunity to be responsible, then they’ll do so. I think the ecology-friendly lawn care label is one that is growing.”