Sunborne’s Community Outreach Program

August 13th, 2009

Sunborne Nursery is a family owned and operated wholesale nursery located in the Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP) neighborhood of San Francisco. Our home market is the San Francisco Bay Area, although we also own 2 semis and deliver every other week to wholesale customers in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

While most businesses are only concerned about maximizing their profits, we believe that is equally important to give back to your community. With that in mind, Sunborne Nursery developed a successful community benefit program for residents of the BVHP community. We have focused our efforts on hiring locally and providing job training and career coaching. In addition, we also support many local BVHP non-profits and community based organizations through direct funding and through fundraising support. Finally, we host a plant sale on the 4th Saturday of every month specifically for residents of the BVHP. Half of the proceeds from the plant sale are either donated to a local organization or deposited into a scholarship fund for a needy student from the BVHP community.

We are proud to say that to date Sunborne has hired 67 people from the BVHP community. One of our early local hires was a young lady name Lonia Hutchon who started as a receptionist and worked her way up to General Manager. She is now our highest paid employee and responsible for our entire operation, including our local hires and workforce development program.

While Lonia was lucky enough to come from a great family with a strong support network, a large percentage of our local hires are young men and women with a highschool education at most and little to no job experience or training. Others have criminal records. Most come from broken families and have direct or indirect experience with violence, drug abuse, and poverty. We do not hold their difficult background or lack of experience or education against, but instead treat them like any other employee. In so doing, we are able to provide direct support and hope for the individual, their family, and their extended community. The impact can be significant.

Along with our local hiring and workforce development program, we work closely with many local BVHP community based organizations like The Bayview YMCA, Young Community Developers, Hunter’s Point Family, and The Bayview Project. We support them with their programs, and in some cases provide donations and direct fundraising assistance. Our latest effort is to offer churches and elementary schools in the BVHP area an opportunity to participate in our monthly plant sale. We then split the proceeds with them. In so doing, the local organizations can raise badly needed funds for their programs and we can expand the reach and impact of our monthly plant sales.


The Sunborne Difference

August 13th, 2009


Quality Plant Material

• We only sell high quality, clean, well-rooted, insect-free plants. We always choose quality over price in making our purchasing decisions.

• As a preventive against gnats, scale, whitefly and mealy bugs, we treat our plant material with a combination of Safari (systemic) and Nemasis (beneficial). The only plants that do not get this treatment are plants from Hawaii that are grown in lava rock, as well as bromeliads, where the extra water can be harmful. In addition, as we prepare your orders for pick up or delivery, we wash all plants with Sunspray, a horticultural oil. Besides washing off pesticide residues and mineral deposits, Sunspray works to smothers spider mites and their eggs. The combination of these products is unsurpassed in providing you with bug free plants.

• We trim and manicure all plants so that they are installation ready when you receive them. This saves you time, labor and money.

• We have a dedicated Quality Control specialist who inspects every order to make sure everything is correct, the quality meets our rigorous quality standards and the plants are clean and disease and bug free.


Customer Service

• We have 6 full-time sales representatives, with an average of 25 years of nursery and interiorscape experience each. Our large sales staff is extremely knowledgeable and available to provide support and advice to our customers Monday through Friday from as early as 7am to as late as 5pm.

• We can supply plants with labels free of charge. The labels can include as much or as little information as needed. For instance our labels can include the customer name, the technician, the service route, the delivery location, the customer logo, the plant name, the retail price, a SKU, and the recommended lighting and watering requirements for each plant.

• We load our trucks at night so we can begin delivering as early as 6am to meet the needs of our customers.

• Our delivery charges are quite reasonable at $35 for orders over $500 and $50 for orders under $500.

• We charge a 20% re-stocking fee on all plants returned in new condition within a week of purchase. After 1 week, we do not accept returns.