How It All Began
Corker Outdoor Living & Landscapes Supplies is the new brand and the next step in the evolution of Small Loads Ltd.
Small Loads was set up in 2001 to meet the local market need for a good reliable service delivering 2-10 tonne loose loads of various aggregates in small tipper lorries. Our concept quickly found its demand, and we began to grow.
With our first office based in the conservatory of our 4-bedroom house, we started advertising in a free local magazine (The Focus). Every now and then the phone rang for a small load of an aggregate, we took the order in the most professional manner, and ran into the quarries as fast as we could, delivering the order straight to our customers’ homes. We celebrated every order and felt like we had just won the lottery.
How Small Loads Grew Into a Corker
As the business grew, we took a small office in our local town Paddock Wood and an open yard at T.Noakes cold stores in Horsmonden. Having the office separate from the yard was not ideal, but we made it work. In 3 years’ time, we moved to a new yard at Manor Farm, Paddock Wood, which included an office, and traded from there for the next 4 years.
During the recession, Small Loads continued to grow slowly. We realised that to make a real go of our business, we needed to be in a more prominent location. While the businesses around us were closing one after another, we took the plunge and relocated to the yard on the B Road opposite the Hop Farm, which is the main road into Paddock Wood. Our instincts proved right, and we quickly grew to become the local trusted landscaping goods merchant, known for our family oriented and fun environment.
We’ve always aimed to give our customers something different. We had exciting ideas, and even though our yard was frustratingly restrictive, we managed to create a small area to display our paving and other innovative products, which the customers loved! After a successful 4-year run, another yard became available just around the corner – Westdene on A228 in Paddock Wood. At 3 acres it was a big leap, but as a family we decided we would take it, so we could finally showcase all our ideas and dreams.
What is Corker All About?
After trading as Small Loads for over 15 years, we decided it was time to change our name. Why?
Small Loads is so self-explanatory, that most of our customers could only identify us with small loads of aggregates. Even as we grew and introduced new products such as paving, artificial grass, topsoil, fencing, outdoor furniture, and much more, we kept hearing the same remark, “We didn’t realise you did all this, we thought you just did aggregates”.
With our vision for the future and all the products we’ve come to sell and have yet to show, we decided it was time for a re-brand. We started searching for a professional creative agency in August 2015. Having met 6 different agencies, we found exactly what we were looking for in Matthew Hobbs and his team at Project 64, who really understood our passion and vision and realised it with a professionalism that’s second to none.
We agreed on the name Corker Outdoor Living & Landscape Supplies with the strapline ‘MAKE YOUR GARDEN A CORKER’, because Corker stands for ‘something astonishing’ and just happens to be part of our family name!
Project 64 came up with some really nice brand ideas, but the one that immediately stood out for us was the big C with the tree branch detailing in bluey grey colour, giving it a contemporary classy look. We have started applying the new logo to our lorries, bulk bags, stationary, and work clothes – seeing our new brand come to life after all the hard work feels amazing!