A Family Owned Business For 3 Generations
Our Origin Story
After graduating North Kitsap High School, Vernon Martinson worked several years at the Port Gamble sawmill and then drove a commercial dairy delivery truck for 13 years, but he was always a farmer at heart. In 1961, Vern purchased the family homestead when his father retired. He and his family worked hard to improve the dairy herd his father established and made the farm as productive as possible. As milking herds disappeared in Kitsap County, Vern decided to sell Grade A milk directly to the public. He and his wife Pat operated Vern’s Milkhouse, producing and bottling that wonderful Grade A milk with the thick layer of cream on top. Many families were raised on Vern’s milk. He especially loved showing the children around the farm and milking parlor during school field trips.
While operating the dairy, Vern built a pond on the property and had a huge mound of rich black soil. And, of course, he had an ample supply of cow manure. Mixing the two and selling the resulting topsoil was the beginning of a new business. At first, Vern mixed his topsoil with a rotavator and took the rocks out with a pitchfork. It was hard work, especially while milking cows 365 days a year. The demand for topsoil grew at the same time dairy regulations became too intrusive- so, the dairy cows were sold and Vern’s Milkhouse became Vern’s Organic Topsoil.
Vern's: The Sequel
Over the years, the business continued to grow and develop. As Vern and Pat Martinson retired, the business was acquired by their daughter Cathy and her husband, Sam. The Allen’s breathed new life into Verns, but the most important ingredient of Vern’s Organic Topsoil remained the same: our commitment to our customers by supplying quality products and providing the best service possible. Bigger trucks, an increased line of products, and a new screening plant replaced Vern’s pitchfork and rotavator. The business grew to be voted Best of the Best in North Kitsap for 16 years running. All of Sam and Cathy’s children worked at the family business at one point or another while the business continued to improve and grow.
Our Future -
The Kid Awakens? (Movie Title 'TBD')
Vern's Strikes Back
Which brings us to today when their son and daughter-in-law, Tanner and Samantha, follow in the footsteps of the previous two generations. The integrity and commitment to value and service that Grandpa Vern regarded so highly are just as important today as when he started out.
Three generations, so we'll leave you with three lines of wisdom: The employees and customers of Vern’s Organic Topsoil will always be considered our family; Something about hard work, dirt covered overalls, and a gallon of milk leads a life fulfilled; and finally, our duty as a locally owned and operated business is to embody the culture and community that we want for future generations.