How Earth Resources ‘rocks’ the OBX
Published 8:12 am Monday, August 29, 2022
Earth Resources, owned and operated by Tim and Loui Beacham, is the only stone yard on the Outer Banks. Located in Kitty Hawk, this business carries crushed stone along with river rocks, landscaping stones, concrete sand, mortar and a variety of mulch. Here for all construction and landscaping needs, Earth Resources has become an asset to the maintenance, restoration and development of the area.
Tim grew up in Kitty Hawk and Loui spent the majority of her young life in Connecticut, frequently vising the Outer Banks with her family. They met at a trash festival in Duck, now known as the “Beach Sweep,” 33 years ago after cleaning up and turning in trash at checkpoints in order to receive a ticket into a private event that included food and live music. The two married a few years later and have three children together.
Tim worked for Outer Banks Contractors and grew up clearing lots and parking lots as the Outer Banks developed. When the recession hit in 1989, the company failed. The couple was left picking up odds and ends jobs trying to stay afloat. “We met when I was flat broke with nothing and I thought wow, she must really love me,” Tim chuckled.
When the contracting company was consumed by bankruptcy, Tim decided to lease it back from the estate and start fresh. At the beginning, the couple did everything they could to get the business up off its feet. “We begged, borrowed and did everything we could to gather equipment,” said Tim. “Some stuff that had been auctioned off in the Outer Banks Contractors auction and we had a key and I went in to borrow it for a week or two. Of course, I cleaned it up put it back,” he added.
Loui and Tim were able to figure out how to lease a tugboat and barges at the start. Loui ran the scale house while Tim would load and unload materials day after day. Sleep deprived and living off of stale bread, the couple worked tirelessly to achieve the goal they had in mind – to run a successful business and purchase a piece of property they could later use for retirement.
After some time, an investor bought the property the Beachams were leasing. Tim explained: “We leased it at first … after two to three years of leasing we ended up getting help from gentlemen that I had helped back in the day. He signed behind us and we bought it. We just kept picking at it and picking at it until we were able to pay it off.” Loui added, “We have always lived frugally,” and because of it the couple has been able to put away money for all of their children to attend college.
Earth Resources comprises three phases that are run together as one business. The first phase involves unloading aggregate materials which support asphalt, ready mix (concrete), septic systems, driveways, etc. They supply a full spectrum of stone which is sold to both contractors and the public.
Earth Resources also crushes landscaping debris to create wood chips, which is ground again to make mulch as part of their second phase. “We sell this as a product and keep materials out of landfills,” Tim said. Because of this, the company naturally started recycling land clearing debris. In addition, dirt that comes in is screened to remove roots – the dirt is then sold for topsoil. All of this is accomplished with equipment onsite.
The third phase is a worthwhile addition known as Dock of the Bay, where gas and fuel are sold to the boats and trucks that travel to Earth Resources. Over the years, Tim and Loui saw the need for such an addition; a supplemental convenience for those who were making their way to the site frequently. The name came about one day while Loui and Tim were sitting on the dock. “We were throwing out names when the farmers had their radio on,” said Loui, “and the song Dock of the Bay came on. We looked at each other and said that’s it.”
Tim was happy to report the company established its presence quickly. “Some landscapers supply themselves but don’t have big enough yards to do big buys, and there are not many legal recycling options here.” That in addition to the fact that there are very few gas stations on the northern Outer Banks for deep water boats has propelled Earth Resources forward in its success.
“It’s been a good response from the community as far as support,” Tim voiced. “We have so many homeowners that come. Everybody from small landscapers to large contractors. We help a lot of people.”
One of the most noteworthy achievements of Earth Resources is helping to decrease the carbon footprint by barging rather than trucking materials in. Because of this, along with saving materials from ending up in landfills, the business has saved maintenance on local roads and lessened the carbon tonnage that goes into the air daily.
To learn more about Earth Resources and Dock of the Bay, visit their website at www.werocktheobx.com.