Cronk Nutrients: Growing with Pride
Cronk Nutrients prides itself on selling high-end nutrients for cannabis cultivation that are 100 percent Canadian. Company owner Courtland Cronk fills us in on what makes his company stand out and how tough it was to start up a new company during the pandemic.
What did you and your partners do before starting Cronk Nutrients?
Courtland Cronk: I was a door-to-door salesperson for years.
How did you get into the cannabis industry?
Cronk: I’ve always smoked weed, and when I moved back to NB last year I met up with an old friend Joe Cowell who had been making (LST) Low Stress Training Bags and he had started his own business called Basement Auto Flowers selling them. I’ve always wanted to be in the cannabis business and saw a perfect opportunity to do nutrients!
When and where did Cronk begin?
Cronk: The company started during when COVID broke out and we were all on lockdown. I had some time not working so I thought there was no better time to start the business I wanted to. So I started growing, then built up a community on Instagram and then started selling grow lights, which then led to manufacturing grow nutrients.
How many people work for you? What are their roles?
Cronk: Just myself, my spouse, a graphic designer, and our SEO guy. I run operations, marketing, and support. I basically do it all! My spouse helps with packing orders and making sure we stay on top for shipping times. Our graphic designer did an amazing job designing our bottle labels and is amazing in what she does: all the labels were hand drawn! The SEO guy is responsible for all our site’s SEO.
What did Cronk first produce?
Cronk: Our five-product line of Grow, Micro, Bloom, CalMag, and Bud Booster were the first real products we produced.
What are some of your struggles in the first year? How are you overcoming them?
Cronk: The struggles at the start were dialing in the ratios for the nutrients. We did multiple grow runs to dial in the ratios. The second challenge was getting the product manufactured. With COVID we had delay after delay because things kept shutting down then reopening. We kept a positive attitude and pushed through it. We knew starting a business during a pandemic would be hard.
How are you gaining market share and recognition?
Cronk: Through Instagram — we really engaged with everyone on Instagram and still do to this day. We don’t see our customers as customers: we see them as family. A lot of people use cannabis for medical reasons and for us to provide a solid product at an affordable price helps the community out a lot and we also give back to the community — a lot. This year we won’t be profitable because of advertising but also the amount of giving back we do. For example, we paid for a trip for someone to go see their family they haven’t been able to get to see for a while.
Has Cronk moved or expanded since the beginning?
Cronk: Yes, we started in New Brunswick and moved operations to B.C. because there is a lot more opportunity to expand out that way.
Where do you distribute?
We sell right now across Canada and U.S.
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What are Cronk Nutrients’ biggest strengths?
Cronk: Our community engagement, 100 percent.
What are some of your proudest moments?
Cronk: I think being able to create a semi-successful company in the midst of a pandemic.
What significant things have you learned so far about the industry?
Cronk: The cannabis community is one of the most supportive communities that I have ever been around and engaged with.
What have you learned about starting and growing a company?
Cronk: That it takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. You really have to focus on what you want: no hanging out with friends, no going out for drinks, no going out for dinner, no wasting money. “Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else.” (Dave Ramsey).
What words of wisdom can you share about the business, the industry, or the future of the industry?
Cronk: Right now, the cannabis is where alcohol was 100 years ago. This is just the start.
Share your favorite story from a day on the job.
Cronk: Every day is great haha!
What makes your employees so awesome? How does your team bond?
Cronk: All employees work remotely, and they all have the same vision as I do, so it’s great.
Does your company participate in any community service?
Cronk: At this stage, we do not participate in any community service.
Cronk Nutrients™ wanted to find a way to give growers a uniform and error-free way to feed their plants through every growth phase. Their 3-part liquid fertilizer has all the essential elements and trace minerals that a plant needs. To learn more, visit cronknutrients.com.