Heather Guidice has always spent a lot of time gardening and making her own compost. When the creative professional by trade transitioned from a previous job, putting her sustainability skill to work came naturally.
While in the office, Guidice’s food waste composting hobby led to interest from co-workers. “Things started appearing on my desk,” Guidice recalled. “People want to do the right thing.”
By 2019, her hobby morphed into a full-fledged business, Kona Compost Co., which services many communities in Bucks County.
Kona Compost is inching towards 200 customers – a significant increase from the 120 r
egular clients the company serviced in fall 2021 when she began meeting with SCORE Bucks County mentor Rani Martier.
“Right now, I work by myself,” Guidice said. “It’s been so nice just to have someone to bounce ideas off of and who is able to provide some guidance and perspective. It’s like having a very part-time business partner.”
Together, she and Martier discuss strategies to continually grow the business and with the ultimate goal of having this be Guidice’s full-time job.
“Part of my mission is to get everyone in Bucks County composting” Guidice said. “Food scraps are inevitable and anything that was once alive can be composted.”
Guidice makes it easy to compost, providing five-gallon bins for everything from food scraps to dead house plants, leaves, egg cartons, pizza boxes and more. Each customer is provided with a list of items that can and cannot be composted. For the cost of a few Starbucks coffees per month, a household can have their compostable materials picked up from their driveway or in front of their property on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
From there, collected food scraps are transported to a local farm where they are processed into compost. Customers can also receive compost back if they wish.
“It closes the circle,” Guidice said. “It helps them realize the positive value of their actions.”
The goal is to “reframe people’s relationship with their food scraps.”
“How do we look at it as a value add, rather than just something we’re throwing away?” Guidice asked. “Too often, people throw their food scraps in the trash, destined for the landfill where they don’t decompose. Rather, they release methane gas, which is fueling our climate crisis.”
Instead, she encourages people to compost the nearly 50 percent of trash that can be composted. In doing so herself, Guidice only puts trash out once every month or six weeks at home.
Martier lauded Guidice for her environmentally conscious efforts and for successfully scaling her business.
“Heather Guidice, super passionate for Mother Earth and our climate, has nurtured her business and thrives as she acquires new customers along the way,” Martier said. “I truly enjoy working with Heather.”