Grab a coffee… this isn't a short story.
Let's start from the beginning… Farmland Co. began its life as Farmers Warehouse in February 2002. It was brought to life by Steve Ramm who took his vision and passion for independent business and community and turned it into a reality.
After Steve sold his commercial horticulture farm on the Central Coast he started his rural merchant career at Carr Bros Farm Supplies (another – now ceased- rural business in the Hunter Valley) in the mid-'80s. Steve, along with his business partner, ran a successful enterprise for many years before he decided to sell to public company Iama (a company that was later absorbed into Wesfarmers) at the beginning of 1996. After the handover was complete Steve took the opportunity to pursue his Master of Business Administration through the University of Newcastle in mid-1997.
Through Steve's studies, he developed the confidence to create the concept of Farmers Warehouse from scratch. The MBA gave him the structure and skills to build a business plan and marketing strategy to present to the bank to fund this endeavour.
The MBA Also gave him the ability to problem solve and think outside the square- invaluable skills needed to start a business with little financial backing.
The next job was to find the perfect location. After many drive-bys, a vacant block in the middle of what seemed to be nowhere on the outskirts of Rutherford presented itself. Steve decided to make an offer at 5 Kyle Street Rutherford and after this was accepted, he built one shed and recruited a couple of staff (one of which was long-term employee 'Young Steve' Stephen Taylor).
With little money left Steve was able to gain support from some supply partners who filled the new store with consignment stock – let's be honest, most of the money had been spent on the property and the shed, con-stock was the only way to do it!
A true Entrepreneur who made his dream a reality. Now all he needed was customer support from the community he hoped to serve!
Once locals saw that Steve was back in business, his experience and attitude meant Farmers Warehouse began to take off. That solutions-based attitude and high level of customer service culture carries on here today. We are proud of where we came from and who we are.
In the early 2000’s as the business grew, Steve's son, James came onboard. He later started his own online business, www.farmerswarehouse.com.au PTY LTD, then in 2008 and opened a brick-and-mortar operation 12 months later in Singleton.
James is still now trading as Farmers Warehouse.
Although Steve and James' stores were separate legal entities, they had been sharing their resources and in early 2013, employed Kate Ramm, Steve's daughter and James's sister, as their full-time marketing manager. Kate found that she loved the business and quickly became integral to the operation. Like Steve, She also completed her MBA at Newcastle University in 2018 and since then has taken over managing the Rutherford store.
Jump forward to February 2020. As both Rutherford and Singleton stores had grown to such a level, it was becoming more confusing for customers who didn't understand (rightfully so – it was unusual) that although the businesses had the same 'name', they were completely separate entities, with different point-of-sale systems, accounting systems, staffing and so on.
It was after a meeting with the accountant, that the idea of changing the name and branding of Farmers Warehouse to Farmland Co. was born.
Now, three years down the track as Farmland Co., we are still the same independent locally owned small family business that gets to serve and help our customers and community with their needs and get the most out of their properties. Our mission, "helping you grow," refers to our customers, staff, and local Hunter Valley community.
The wonderful thing about independent business- it keeps money in our community.
And… if you ever forget our name, no drama, we will answer to Carr Bros, Farmers Warehouse or Farmland Co.… Because, yep, that's us, haha