Grow for the Gold: Royal Gold
Maximum Yield sat down with Royal Gold’s director of sales and marketing Michael Beck to learn more about the company’s beginnings, it’s new podcast, and their team’s dedication to the company and its clients.
What did you and your partners do before starting Royal Gold?
The founders of Royal Gold came from a background in business and manufacturing, with an affinity for high-grade cannabis and boutique medical cultivation.
What inspired them to get into this industry?
With a background in cultivation, we noticed a need for cleaner more consistent packaged growing mediums and recognized coco fiber as the future of cultivation for cannabis and many other common greenhouse and container cultivated crops.
When and where did Royal Gold begin?
Royal Gold began in 2006 and officially formed as a business in 2009.
What were the startup years like?
The startup years at RG were difficult, from a couple to a team of five at official formation, everyone played multiple roles.
What did Royal Gold first produce?
In the early stages, RG started with a pure coco, and quickly added to soil blends, the Basement Mix and Mendo Mix, to form the core of RG offerings for years to come.
What were some of the struggles Royal Gold experienced early on? How were they overcome?
Some of the largest struggles faced by Royal Gold in the early days involved difficulties with co-packers and the decision to manufacture all of our products in-house from scratch. This was a decision made out of necessity and happened very quickly. The challenges of developing a quality manufacturing program shaped the future of Royal Gold and laid the groundwork for creating rigorous quality control protocols and product standards and shaped the direction of product development that led to our best-selling products: Tupur and Kings Mix.
How did Royal Gold gain market share and recognition?
Royal Gold built brand recognition and developed market share through sheer perseverance. We made a goal to visit every hydroponic store in the country and build personal connections, and we sampled our products heavily and encouraged side-by-side comparisons. Our dedication to customer service and our confidence in the quality and consistency of Royal Gold products paved the way to customer retention. We attended every industry trade show we could and used a boots-on-the-ground approach to developing brand awareness and growing our distribution network.
(Read also: The Best Hydroponic Systems for Space Optimization)
Has the company moved or expanded since the beginning?
Royal Gold is currently manufacturing exclusively at our original location, although we have expanded from a couple bays in an old lumber mill to occupying the entire site and an adjacent 30 acres.
What is Royal Gold’s current product line?
Our current coco fiber-based product line is based on those original offerings and still includes our flagship Coco Fiber, Mendo Mix, Basement Mix, and is anchored by our bestselling Tupur, and supported by the rapidly emerging Kings Mix.
Where does Royal Gold distribute?
Royal Gold products are distributed throughout the entire U.S. and its territories and Canada, and have also been purchased and shipped to Costa Rica, Guam, Mexico, and beyond.
How many people now work for the company?
Royal Gold currently employs between 65-85 people year-round.
What are Royal Gold’s strengths?
Royal Gold’s primary strengths are brand loyalty (by both employees and customers), customer service, and product quality.
What are some proud moments you’d like to share?
Some of Royal Gold’s proudest times are the little moments. When a customer comes up and says thank you, that your product has made a difference in their life or getting a glowing report from a respected grower’s side-by-side comparisons. Other standout moments include gaining national distribution and hitting our first million bag year.
What significant things have you learned so far about the industry?
We have learned that success in this industry is not to be taken for granted. It is filled with passionate, dedicated people from all walks of life and without integrity and respect for others success is short lived.
(Read also: The Latest Automation Options for Cannabis Cultivation)
What have the leaders at Royal Gold learned about starting and growing a company?
We have learned that starting and growing a company in this industry is tremendously difficult and a shifting terrain of challenges.
Each day brings new opportunities for growth both personally and professionally and is balanced by chances to fail. We thrive and grow by accepting these challenges face on and learning from our own failures and turning those hardships into new opportunities to rise to the occasion.
What words of wisdom can you share about the business, the industry, or the future of the industry?
Some words of wisdom that often come up about this industry are “success is not given but shared.” In an industry that requires so much cooperation this is all the more relevant. Royal Gold could not succeed without our partners and friends in the industry. We do our best to be dependable and support our distributors, retailers, customers, and colleagues, and help them to succeed in all aspects of their businesses. Our goal is to grow with our partners to advance the industry for all!
Share your favorite story from a day on the job.
My favorite stories of a day on the job all revolve around connection to our community, near and far. One of my favorite days was actually very recently when I got to interview long time musical influence and reggae icon, Don Carlos, for our new podcast, Royal Grown Radio. We spent the day on a world class cannabis farm and bed and breakfast discussing the power of the connections between the musical and cannabis communities.
What makes your employees so awesome? How does your team bond?
What makes our employees so amazing is their dedication. Not just to the job but to each other. Dedication to being part of a team, a part of something bigger. Royal Gold is more than a job or a business to me, and to most of our employees, it is a family, a movement, and an opportunity to make a difference. Our team connects often, spontaneously, and bonds over the little things like community clean-ups, picnics and barbecues in the local park, cornhole games after work, and live music. I am honored to be a part of the Royal Gold Family.
Does your company participate in any community service?
We participate in a wide variety of community service from local beach and river clean-ups, to donations, to a wide variety of community programs including film festivals, youth sports, and native plant botanical gardens. We take pride in the community we represent and many of our team members contribute to the community independently of their role at Royal Gold.