An Alton native has turned his passion for plants, soil science and agriculture into a growing business with Heritage Farm & Fruit Trees based in Godfrey.
Owner Patrick Gibson is pursuing his dream while feeding the community and supporting other local businesses with his high-quality fruit trees. He has received assistance with his venture from the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
SBDC Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May’s said the group’s one-on-one business services have included marketing research, business plan review and expertise in preparing financial documents and loan requests.
The SBDC’s goal, according to May, is to provide timely and effective assistance to entrepreneurs like Gibson to increase their chances for success.
“Pat never hesitates to ask questions and seek information,” she said. “He has worked extremely hard to get Heritage Farm & Fruit Trees up and running. I am always happy to advise clients, and provide resources and advice. The SBDC and I look forward to assisting Gibson as his company grows.”
Heritage Farm & Fruit Trees is an e-commerce farm, HeritageFruitTree.com, that services local communities, cider producers and homeowners who enjoy gardening and keeping their backyard flourishing with fruit trees.
Planting heirloom varieties and flavors differentiates the company from its competitors. Its disease-resistant fruit trees are planted based on a proven and successful European process of growing, which Gibson specifically chose.
Gibson said he wants the community to enjoy growing in their own backyard and taste flavors they have never savored before. Gibson hopes to expand his business to include nut trees, seeds, vegetables and berries.
The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists start-up ventures as well as existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph.
It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE as a service to Illinois small businesses.
—- Business group helps Godfrey heirloom tree farm grow —-