I (Callum Davis) was at college in my last year aged 18 at the time studying English Literature, 16th Century History and Environmental Science. I had not got a clue what I really wanted to do but had a place booked at Plymouth University to do Environmental Construction Surveying.
At the time, I was working in a local coffee store with a few good mates. I had also just been set one of my last projects for Environmental Science which required me to do some research on Slugs and Snails…exciting stuff I thought. It came to my attention that Caffeine can give slugs and snails a small shock (much like Copper). I instantly thought, Im constantly throwing expelled coffee grounds (still full of Caffeine) away at work…What can I do. I asked the coffee store if I could take the coffee grounds home with me each week and they agreed. I thought to myself, if people could buy this then it would be a great recycled product!
So I had a stream of coffee grounds coming home weekly. Now I needed to get people using it. I tested it at friends and families homes and it worked really well, I was chuffed. At the same time I had completed college and started the infamous 'Gap Year'
Whats in a name?..a lot apparently!
I now needed a name to give to the product. There were a few obvious ones like Slug Stop, Slug Off etc. But for some reason I wanted to try something different, something not to do with slugs at all.
I wanted to find other products similar to mine to sell as well and that meant that I needed a brand name to cover the lot. I knew it had to be 'green' sounding so naturally I wanted to stick ECO on the front of the name. CHARLIE was chosen because I was watching the Italian Job and Charlie (the main character) in one scene has many girls saying hello to him. Hearing the name over and over (in an Italian accent) made me think 'wow I really like that name'. So EcoCharlie came to be.
My family and friends thought I was mad for choosing such a weird name but I stuck with it.
I then packed up my first few hundred bags of EcoCharlie's Natural Slug and Snail Deterrent by hand in my shed to sell to my local garden stores. I actually got my girlfriend to help me out as it was very time intensive. Thanks Laura!
By the winter we had sold a few hundred bags and the feedback was great. I was learning the tricks of the gardening trade and I was also having great fun.