We had the good fortune of connecting with Su Kraus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Su, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Moosa Creek Nursery grows California native plants. This is a very specific niche in the general horticultural market. I believe our success derives from our ability to focus on this sector and become the best you can be in that field without getting distracted by temptations of short term gains and straying from what we know and do best. Timing has also been significant as we started small and grew as demand for drought tolerant, habitat enhancing plants grew. To take advantage of this market growth we have always put customer service and plant quality at the forefront of our efforts so that we have been able to garner a strong reputation for healthy, high quality material and exceptional response to our customer needs. Developing brand allegiance and a robust web-site presence have definitely helped us become a leader in the local garden center market.
What should our readers know about your business?
Moosa Creek Nursery is dedicated to the supply of high quality native plants. We are excited to have been part of a growing awareness and sensitivity to the need to restore and maintain California’s exceptional bio-diversity. It has been a challenging journey as we are dedicated to providing a broad range of native plants, not just the ones that are simple to grow! With over 400 species on our grow list the different demands required to germinate and produce such a diverse range of plants in a climate that experiences winter frosts and summer temperatures that can exceed 100 degrees keeps us on our toes! Along the way we have made some mistakes. The key is to learn from them and try not to repeat the same mistakes! Despite doing this for nearly two decades we continue to learn and improve and Moosa Creek intends to keep on growing and improving and doing our small part to conserve the beauty and diversity of California and it’s habitat.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Get out into nature! From the beautiful beach hikes in Torrey Pines State Park to the desert scenes of Anza Borrego State Park with the mountains in between (Palomar State Park) you can experience one of the worlds bio-diversity hotspots. San Diego is famous for it’s micro-breweries. Don’t forget to stop at Praeger Brothers Artisan Bakery (https://www.pragerbrothers.com/) and sip some wine under the oaks at Triple B Ranch organic winery (https://www.triplebranches.com/)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The native plant community if full of dedicated people. We have benefitted from so many restoration ecologists and botanists who were willing to provide input as we began this journey. Additionally, we are frequently bolstered by the support and encouragement we receive from the volunteers of our local chapter of the California Native Plant Society (www.cnpssd.org) In particular, Edmund Piffard, Lee Gordon and many others are willing to share their seeds with us to enable us to grow some of the rarer plant species. Finally, none of this would be possible without the hard work of our field staff who work diligently in temperatures that can range from below freezing to above 100 degrees! Thank you Moosa Creek employees!
Michelle McCloud Hughes Karen Parke