Excerpted from: Yankee Magazine
Author Julia Shipley
Photo Art by Julia Shipley
Ben’s Pumpkins | Friendly Pumpkin Wars
“Ben Nottermann has been growing his business since the ripe old age of six. Yes, the year most kids learn to tell time and dig into reading, Ben was learning that if he planted a couple seeds (about 50 cents worth), tended his few seedlings into thriving plants, harvested their produce, and sold his 24 orange spherical vegetables for a dollar a piece on the front lawn, he made what we grown-ups call: a great rate of return.
“A quarter century later: “Ben’s Pumpkins” is still flourishing. I know because I just came back from a mission to snoop on my biggest competitor. Ben’s Macro-Pumpkinry is based in East Hardwick,VT on a lovely dirt road called, (so appropriately) Pumpkin Lane, and thanks to my recent reconnaissance, I think I’ve uncovered his strategy: Quality (they’re so orange and robust!) and Variety (they range in size from ping-pong to hassock) and Diversity (they vary from pleated to smooth to “Baby Boo” and other specialties). Ben, I have to hand it to him, is the one- stop shopping of all things pumpkin. Again!”