Corey’s Story

“As the Founder and Owner of Way to Grow, I am proud to be a leader in one of the few industries left where small businesses stand a chance in corporate America and executives are not expected to wear suits and ties. At Way to Grow, we see every day as an opportunity to make a positive impact and it is an honor to share the tale of where it all began."

Corey Inniss, Founder, Owner

When One Door Closes

The year was 2002. It was my senior year at Colorado State University, and I had an entry-level job lined up with State Farm Insurance. Then the job fell through. At the time I had no clue what a pivotal moment that was in my life. After graduation, I found myself with no job, no plan, and no commitments.

“This is an industry where good music brings people together and one that respects the balance of work and play”.

Break a leg

The truth was, summer was upon me and life was fun—until I broke my femur in a wakeboarding accident. Luckily, I was able to return home for a few months of healing and physical therapy. With time on my hands, I began to reflect on what I might do with my future. I will never forget the day I went for a drive with a dear old friend. He looked at me and said:

“Man, why don’t you open a grow store in Fort Collins?”

I spent the next two months developing a business plan. I outlined a three-year path based primarily on low-interest credit from Visa and MasterCard. Needless to say, it didn’t sell itself. But in the end, my mom believed in me and she co-signed a lease for a small retail space in Fort Collins. (Thanks mom!)

I rented a bedroom in my friend’s basement, bought an old Ford Ranger, and pushed hard to get my store open. My business model was simple—buy stuff and sell it.

Breaking out

Our first customer Rusty kicked things off and by the summer of 2003, I had a few good people helping to run my rapidly growing store in Fort Collins. This allowed me to take Way to Grow to a second location in Boulder, Colorado. I still lived in my friend’s basement, cooked dinner at home 363 nights that year, and worked until bedtime. While I was not able to join my friends for Phish and Widespread Panic shows, I was happy to be building my dreams one day at a time.

For the next four years, our small but able team focused on taking great care of each customer as they walked through our doors. Fellow growers have always been great about teaching us how to be a better supplier for them and we are happy to listen. This symbiosis supports the steady development and improvement of our people and company.

“This is an industry where good music brings people together and one that respects the balance of work and play”.

The Hydroponics Feeding Frenzy

We continued to grow steadily until suddenly it was 2009 and customers were pouring through the front doors. We were in the midst of a hydroponics feeding frenzy! Responding to the overwhelming demand and our reputation, our next store opening in North Denver was an overnight success. Not long after, we opened stores in Central Denver and Colorado Springs.

Helping People Thrive

Way to Grow is a small company playing a big role in the Colorado growing and gardening community. We see our customers as partners. We invest in the development of our people while providing a viable career path, supporting them to become more capable and valuable individuals no matter where their future leads them.

“Creating opportunities for people to thrive is at the core of our values. ”.

“Creating opportunities for people to thrive is at the core of our values. ”.

A Growing Future

Since 2003, the business plan has not changed; the success of our customers comes first, and we value long-term relationships. When I walk into a Way to Grow and see loyal customers from 17 years ago, you better believe it feels good. I love this company and it means a lot to be a part of a growing future.