At 2552 Clark Rd, it’s not just worms and dirt for snacktime. The Earthworm Soil Factory, originally at home on Neal Road in Paradise for 15 years before the Camp Fire, has returned bigger and better than ever!
For the last decade and a half, the Earthworm Soil Factory was primarily a quality soil and amendment business, using a natural process via earthworm castings to offer healthy soil options for gardeners. After the Camp Fire, owners Larry and Karen Royal added two more branches to their business, introducing Butte Valley Supply and Natural Process Nursery to their endeavors.
Butte Valley Supply, they hope, will continue to grow into a destination shopping experience with an old fashioned mercantile feel. Featuring clothing, handbags, novelty decor, planters, windchimes, arches, plant stands, and other home and garden gifts, Butte Valley Supply first opened in early 2021. “When people walk through the hall, they have a wow moment!” said Larry. “It’s been rewarding to see it accomplish what we’d hoped. An enjoyable shopping location.”
The third branch of the business, Natural Process Nursery, uses their special soil to start plants from seed. “These plants get no chemicals or pesticides or synthetic additives,” noted Larry. “The plants are incredible!” Most important to the Royals is how the nursery will be able to help the families rebuilding their homes and replanting their properties. “We’re just trying to make sure the nursery can do its best to help the community,” said Larry. They hope to build a community garden space in the near future and will continue to look for ways to help in the rebuild process. “We’re really leaning toward what is going to be needed.”
All three ventures operate out of their Butte Valley location, having permanently relocated and expanded on their original distribution spaces. Like most, the Royals were hit hard by the Camp Fire, losing their garden center, big equipment, watering systems, and other important tools of their trade. With their Neal Road location no longer an option, they decided to give their Clark Road distribution center a makeover.
Building a production center, rezoning, lot line adjustments, and other modifications and expansions to the property were no easy challenge, but they just kept moving forward. Larry and Karen, Butte County residents for over 40 years, love their business and knew the soil, plants, and store would be just what people needed to bring beauty back to their homes. “We recognize the products we have to offer are really in the need now and in the future,” recognized Larry, “as the community rebuilds homes and yards.”
Their favorite part of it all? “Being able to interact with customers.” The Royals enjoy interacting with visitors from Paradise, Chico, Concow, Oroville, and the surrounding areas who stop by to share their stories, support a local business, and maybe pick up a plant or pottery for their future.