WICHITA — Wichita homeowners may not be buying sod like they once were, but other Kansans are, and that’s why the SodShop is expanding.
Owners Tony Wilbur and his brother, Ted, have purchased Pine Family Farm in Lawrence.
“We’re trying to diversify,” Tony Wilbur says. “We’re trying to expand . . . our sales area.”
The Wilburs, whose Wichita shop is at 3601 N. Hillside, also have a SodShop south of Olathe and a sod farm north of Wichita that they own with Tony Wilbur’s son, Wade.
Commercial and government work is still strong in Wichita, Wilbur says, but residential sales aren’t.
“The housing’s down terrible here, which means a pretty good drop in Wichita.”
He says he and his brother are expanding in order to keep up volume.
“Fort Riley has been very good to us, and there’s a lot of building going on in Manhattan,” he says. “We sell a lot of grass up there.”
He calls north Manhattan and Junction City “a real hotbed area for the last couple of years now.”
“We’re thinking about that direction also,” he says of expansion.
In addition to selling sod, the company also sells stone and bulk materials, boulders, patio stone and rock bubblers in Wichita.
At its other locations, the company sells sod only.
“We’re trying to bring all of the office work here to Wichita and do just the field work there,” Wilbur says. “We’re kind of trying to consolidate that and see if we can’t be a little more efficient.”
Since taking over Pine Family Farm Sept. 1, Wilbur says it’s been going well.
“It’s busy right now,” he says. “We’ve been very fortunate.”