Lowes Puts Big Box Strength Behind Small Baldwin County Business

FOLEY, Ala. (WPMI) — Foley-based AgriTech Corp. is the national runner-up in Lowe’s pitch competition called “Making it with Lowe’s.” The competition focused on small businesses owned by under-represented communities. In this case, AgriTech Corp. is run by a female CEO. The company’s product uses technology to help solve homeowners’ headaches with their lawn or garden.

It’s called SoilKit. Homeowners send off soil samples, a lab analyzes them, and the lab uploads results to the website. Homeowners are then given an action plan and a shopping list.

“We empower the homeowner and say, ‘This is how you can make it better,’ ” said AgriTech Corp. CEO Christina Woerner McInnis.

The fifth-generation farmer says despite homeowners spending on average $500 a year on their lawn, a majority still aren’t happy with the results. She says their product not only gets to the root of the problem, but it also promises to help with a growing environmental issue.

“We’ve had the largest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico we’ve ever had in history. They’re attributing it to multiple things, but one of it is fertilizer abuse. There is runoff simply because people do not have the knowledge to do it correctly,” said McInnis.

The entrepreneur learned about Lowe’s pitch competition two days after Hurricane Sally hit. With three trees on her home and no power or internet, she began working on her application. Lowe’s received more than 1,300 of them. SoilKit finished second in the nationwide competition. McInnis says the Lowe’s team has served as a mentor and offered its expertise by helping her improve things like packaging and marketing. It will soon help her sell her products nationwide.

“I appreciate the attention to detail they did to this to select companies who normally wouldn’t ever be noticed on a national scale, ” said McInnis.

McInnis expects SoilKit to be on Lowe’s store shelves regionally soon and nationwide by the end of the year.

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