King of the Mulch Hill
By Rachael Ward
When owning a successful business, location is key. Bailey Bark Materials, Inc. believes that their mulch supply company is perfectly located right in the middle of the piney woods of East Texas.
Jeff, Brad, Billy and Shane Bailey have owned and operated Bailey Bark Materials, Inc. since it opened in March of 1983. The company began with two acres of land in Carthage, Tex. with just five employees and three trucks.
Since moving from Carthage, the company has become a successful mulching company with locations in Nacogdoches and Shreveport, as well as a Houston location with partner, Just Wood & Mulch. In Nacogdoches and Shreveport, Bailey Bark has expanded to more than 20 acres with 40 employees and16 new trucks.
Bailey Bark sells from two to 110 cubic yards, depending on the order. Customers can also buy a pick-up truck load worth of mulch.
Though Bailey Bark is in a prime East Texas location, their competitors also share the same region. With competing companies in Pineland and Rusk, the Baileys work hard to keep their customers satisfied.
The company strives to maintain customer relationships and high levels of product quality and service. They offer a variety of mulch, compost, landscape rock, grass, portable buildings, recycled green wood and certified playground material at an affordable price.
The team is also considering adding new products.
“Any product you can sell to make an honest dollar is something worth looking into,” said Billy.
Though Bailey Bark has grown significantly since opening in the 1980s, the team is still looking to expand. They are currently in the process of building a new office.
When the team begins to make their products, they start with the bark, which is picked up at the sawmills after it has been removed from the trees. The bark is brought to the bark mill and put in the grinders to produce the mulch.
One of the challenges that Bailey Bark faces is the price of bark. When the price increases, it is difficult to purchase from the suppliers. The company purchases their bark through closed sealed bids, so it is impossible to get it cheaper.
Another setback is the closing of many big saw mills that create the raw materials. It can also be difficult to stay ahead of the competition. Other bark mulch supply companies also strive to be successful, and depend on loyal customers to stay ahead of the surrounding competition.
The company’s Houston-based partner, Just Wood and Mulch also specializes in recycled brush, colored mulch and potting soil.
“We are family owned and operated. We started off small and grew from there,” said Billy Bailey. He enjoys the outdoor setting of his company.
“I’d rather be out in the field instead of having a regular office job all day,” he said.
Every business has specific goals they strive to meet. Bailey Bark’s goals include boosting sales and lowering maintenance cost. They also hope to increase their revenue. Reputation is a priority.
Bailey Bark is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. The business is also certified with the International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association. They are proud members of the Quality Council of Texas, IPEMA and Texas Nursery and Landscape Association.
The Bailey family and their successful company have benefited from their Nacogdoches location, but they have also contributed to the local economy.
“Nacogdoches is fortunate to have Bailey Bark Materials as a locally-owned and operated business,” said Robert Rasberry, Bailey Bark’s local banker at Bancorp. “Through hard work and smart business decisions, the Bailey family's business has grown and prospered for more than three decades,” he said. “Our local economy benefits greatly from the business's use of local resources, creating local and regional sales, thereby creating needed jobs and cash flow for our community.”
Bailey Bark Materials is the prime example of how local business can be successful in Nacogdoches. It is evident in their company that hard work and dedication are two of their strong suits.