"We have a lot of squirrel customers. The squirrels love us, that is for sure," he said.
That is because Patrick sells acorns -- online. It's a business he launched about five years ago. So who buys acorns? Apparently, a lot of people.
"People with pet squirrels, people who are planting oak trees -- we do a lot of deer feed, crafts, businesses like Walmart, Disney," Kompf said.
In fact Kompf says Disney bought a lot of acorns to help promote the movie, Ice Age 4. They were handed out at one of the movie's premieres. And he says they will be featured in another movie too. "The acorns are going to be in baskets in the movie Lone Ranger coming out soon from Disney," he said.
Acorno Acornssells between 40 to 50 thousand pounds a year. Prices range from $1.50 a pound, to $3-4 dollars a pound, depending on the size of the order. Kompf is the only employee, which means he packs most orders himself and even picks acorns locally, when he can.
"I just go out there with my acorn picker-upper and remove the acorns from the lawn. I will check back in a week to see if there are any more. I usually go within 20 miles of Chittenden County," he said.
He has advertised in some of the smaller newspapers offering to clear acorns for free, but the past couple of years have not been good for picking, thanks to early springs and late frosts. So when he got a call from a homeowner in Colchester to clear their lawn, the crop was light.
A growing segment of Kompf's business is weddings. Many brides and grooms like to use acorns for decorations or for favors because of what the acorn symbolizes.
"Oak trees represent being strong -- staying together, so it's very popular that people will plant acorns to represent that and when they see the tree growing."
The biggest seller is the Northern Red Oak acorn found in Vermont. But when he runs out of local product, Patrick buys product from other collectors across the country to make sure he can fill his orders and at the same time fulfill a dream. It's just something I have always wanted to do -- work for myself. I try and keep my customers happy and give them discounts when I can," he said.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:34:35 GMT
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains. There were localized areas of high water and damage, like a road washout on Mud Hollow Road in Kirby. Water remainsMore >>
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:58 AM EDT2014-04-16 14:58:11 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
A Montgomery farmer and a sheriff's deputy joined forces for a daring rescue to help a woman who got trapped in her truck by rising floodwaters.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:08:35 GMT
If you thought the weather Tuesday really stunk, you weren't alone. Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers were too much for even a beaver. WCAX Producer Diane Landry caught video Tuesday in MiltonMore >>
Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers in our region Tuesday were too much for even a beaver.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:09:50 GMT
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont. SheldonMore >>
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont.More >>