The proprietors of the Cumberland Crate Company have been enjoying a 350 per cent annual growth rate since opening for business in January of 2014.
In their first year, Archie Pateman and Roderick Lane were mostly doing business on the Island, but their products are now reaching stores in Vancouver and throughout North America. The big ones are Saje Natural Wellness in Canada and LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. The latter uses Cumberland crates for store displays across the continent.
“We’re spreading the religion of the crates,” Pateman said. “It’s such a simple idea, but so functional and helpful. Our market is so broad that we’re starting to see us pop up all over the place.”
Pateman and Lane use Vancouver Island wood to construct crates that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as storing record collections or wine bottles. The Old Funk, for instance, holds about 100 albums. But the big seller is the Flying Frenchman, a cedar crate that attaches to the back of a bicycle rat trap. It is capable of holding two growlers, with room to spare for other items.
“A big facet of our income now is merchandising of stores,” Pateman said.
The company is also making apps for phones and other devices with buttons. These include the Invisibility App, the Phone Boomerang and the Shhh App.
“We’re definitely turning some heads in the Silicon Valley,” Pateman said.
In a further development, Pateman and Lane will soon be launching a perfume brand with scents, including Beer, Cedar and Cat Yawn.
“Might as well keep on growing,” Pateman said.
Cumberland Crate Company was nominated in the new business of the year category in the Comox Valley Chamber Annual Community Awards.
The company website is www.cumberlandcratecompany.com
There is also a YouTube link at bit.ly/1XJadxh