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carol_the_dabbler

What's with Baker Creek?

9 months ago

Baker Creek is supposed to be an excellent seed company, but when I go to their website it's now something called Rare Seeds. I could understand that being their URL, but it's also the name shown at the top of each web page. Even when I do a site search for pages that say "Baker Creek," that name is gone -- with the only exceptions being their physical location (still Baker Creek Road), the copyright at the bottom of each page, the photo of their 2023 paper catalog, and (of course) their history page.


I'm concerned that the founders may either have sold the company or turned over management to someone else (as seems to be happening these days with a number of other other once-reliable seed companies).


Does anyone know what's going on?


Comments (13)

  • 9 months ago

    Baker Creek's website has always been rareseeds-dot-com (I typed it this way to avoid inserting a link). RareSeeds is a registered trademark of theirs.

    Rodney

  • 9 months ago

    We always buy vegetable seeds from Baker Creek's (rare seeds) and are very happy.

  • 9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    You might want to check this out. https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/2023/04/07/baker-creek-heirloom-seeds-sues-company-for-trademark-infringement/70088430007/

    Baker Creek takes great pride in the "Rare Seeds" trademark. Make sure you're buying from Baker Creek's Rare Seeds!

  • 9 months ago

    Baker Creek has always been known as Rare Seeds since the company was founded in 1998. And remains under the same ownership and management, Jere Gettle.

  • 9 months ago

    Thanks, guys! I did buy something from them once before, but that may have been via their paper catalog. Odd, though, that they would put Baker Creek in big letters on their paper catalog then use a different name on their website. Seems like they could put both names at the top of each page (the way Jaffe Bros / Organic Fruits and Nuts does). lest they water down their reputation.


    I've read the article that daninthedirt linked to, and am now wondering if the *other* "rareseeds" company might be responsible for the negative reviews that Baker Creek has been getting lately on Garden Watchdog?


  • 9 months ago

    Looking at buyrareseeds.com, they do have a somewhat remarkable selection with some unusual items. Pretty expensive, though, but it looks like their shipping is free.

  • 9 months ago

    Wow -- I clicked on that link, just out of curiosity -- but my software warned me that the site "may contain malicious activity," so I closed the tab. It's possible that "buyrareseeds" simply has shoddy (though non-malicious) software -- but why take chances.


  • 9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    I get through easily, using several different browsers. But maybe you have some special protection set up?

    More on this here. https://www.natlawreview.com/article/suit-over-seeds-sprouting-missouri Seems that the issue is the "strength" of the trademark.

  • 9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    Yes, I've got malware-detection software. They err on the side of caution, of course, which is why they leave the actual decision to me. If it's a site that I already trust, I continue. If it's a site that I already have reason to be wary of, then I don't. (Anything in the middle, I flip a mental coin.)

    And apparently yes, the issue is basically how likely is it that someone intending to buy from Baker Creek will mistakenly place their order with buyrareseeds? Will be interesting to see how this pans out -- but court cases tend to take months, if not years, to resolve.

    I've found out why Baker Creek doesn't simply use BakerCreek.com, by the way. Click on that link and you'll be taken to "an intimate mountain resort." BakerCreekSeeds.com takes you to a GoDaddy page that says the URL is registered but not currently in use. Would be interesting to know whether it was GoDaddy that registered it! I seem to recall that, back in the early internet days, people would register scads of URLs with the obvious intention of selling them to the companies that would actually want to use them.

  • 9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    That's interesting that BakerCreek.com isn't available. I also note that if you go to BakerCreek.net, you somehow get shunted to a boutique! But yes, just going with some other BakerCreeksomething.some-other-top-level-domain seems like a logical move. The use of TWO major trademarks is certainly somewhat confusing and doesn't strike me as particularly smart marketing.

  • 9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    I agree! But I suspect that no matter what Baker-Creek-related URL they used, people would "remember" it as BakerCreek dot com, so I'm not too critical of their decision to go with a completely different URL. And I'm guessing that (even though they weren't founded till 1998) they began as a paper-catalog-mail-order company, so their existing customers already knew them as Baker Creek, and they'd hate to throw that away. So I can understand why they have two "identities." I do still think, however, that their logo should always include BOTH names (in catalog and on the internet), to avoid confusing people like me. Maybe something like this:

    Baker Creek

    RARESEEDS

    ... except without that extra-wide space between the two lines. Can't seem to convince houzz that I don't want it like that!

  • 9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    I should note that I found rareseeds.com precisely because of the URL's name (I was looking for rare seeds, which I think is probably a pretty common thing for people to do). So, I don't think it's a bad marketing decision, personally. I didn't realize the company's true name was Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds until some time later.

  • 9 months ago

    Well, marketing-wise, rule #1 is to be memorable and identifiable. When you have people skeptical about exactly who you are, as in the complaint of the OP, you've violated that rule.

    In principle, you could combine those names, as in BakerCreek-rareseeds.com. One can do what is called "co-branding", where two trademarks reflect different parts of the same organization. Also, multiple trademarks are very common after mergers or acquisitions. These conditions don't seem to apply to Baker Creek.