Label Stories: Building a Family Business With Two Men and a Garden | Labels Blog |

Label Stories: Building a Family Business With Two Men and a Garden

Posted on 5/05/16

Two Men and a Garden Logo

Starting a small business can be a daunting prospect, but with the resources available to people today, anyone can do it. At, we work with companies of all sizes, but we especially love helping people who are first starting out. In this installment of our series of Label Stories blogs, we spoke to Joel Austin of Two Men and a Garden, who turned a passion for gardening into a successful business selling products like salsa and pickles. His story demonstrates that when you create a quality product, people will want to buy it!

Joel’s story began when he and his neighbor discovered a mutual love of gardening. “We had been expanding our gardens year over year, and we ended up merging our gardens and helping each other out,” says Joel. “We soon found that we had more vegetables than we knew what to do with.” They began canning their vegetables (especially tomatoes and cucumbers) and selling them at consignment stores and farmers’ markets around St. Louis, Missouri, where they found immediate success.

Originally, Two Men and a Garden used hand-printed labels for their products, but when their business began taking off, Joel’s daughter, a graphic designer, created a logo for them and began printing labels. As their production expanded, they realized that they would need a professional label printer, and that’s when they found

“We originally looked at through their website,” says Joel. “They have a great tool where you can enter information about your order, the size of your labels, and the quantity that you need, and it gives you an instant quote. This gave me some good ideas for how to save money on my label order before I even talked to them on the phone. Figuring out how many different variations we need helps us save money and order the right number of labels that we need at a time.”

Two Men and a Garden Products

Two Men and a Garden still uses the logo that Joel’s daughter designed, but helped them design their labels in a way that incorporates that logo along with a UPC and all the information required to conform to FDA standards. “They’ve been a great help,” says Joel. “They watch out for us and make sure things are right the first time, and they treat their customers really well, providing regular coupons and special offers. We’ve sent them some samples of our salsa, and now we talk to them regularly about gardening. They’re like family!”

As a real family business, Two Men and a Garden thrives on the participation of their family members, who assist with making and selling their products. The products were originally created in Joel’s family kitchen, but when business began to grow, they searched for other solutions, including operating out of their church and renting a restaurant kitchen. For the past few years, they’ve rented a house that they use as a commercial kitchen and processing facility.

Local events are also a great way for Joel and his partners to connect with their customers. “We love to have people sample our products,” he says. “When they get a taste of our salsa, they really understand why it’s worth it to spend some extra money on a quality product.” This strategy has worked well; Joel’s products are now available at over 100 locations around St. Louis, and they can also be purchased online. If you want to learn more about Two Men and a Garden, be sure to visit them on Facebook or Twitter.

We hope you’ve been inspired by Joel’s story, and we hope that you can continue to join us each month as we explore our customers’ label stories. If you want to learn how we can help you create your own custom product labels, you can get started by ordering a free sample. We hope you’ll be our next successful label story!