In 2013, Heather Torres lived in East Dallas and couldn’t get enough of the nearby Dallas Arboretum’s “beautiful pumpkin displays” — so she took inspiration from them to spruce up her own front porch. “I’ve always enjoyed decorating for all of the holidays,” Torres tells Entrepreneur, “and I really love decorating with pumpkins. My personal displays would just get bigger and bigger every year.”
Friends would ask Torres to decorate their homes, and once her kids were old enough to be in school, she started thinking, How do you take something that you love to do and offer a service? What would that be? For Torres, it would be Porch Pumpkins, the concierge pumpkin delivery service she launched in 2020.
Porch Pumpkins has expanded considerably over the past several years. Today, Torres’s business offers four decoration packages priced between $300 and $1,300, plus optional add-ons, to pumpkin-lovers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area and Houston. It also boasts 15 designers, 10 delivery drivers and a warehouse team.
But during that first season in business, Torres made the deliveries herself and stayed up “until midnight or 1 a.m.” routing new orders she accepted throughout the day. By the following year, she had a website to track sales and order numbers, and it’s a good thing, too — because business is booming more than ever before.
This year, Porch Pumpkins started taking orders on July 24 — and sold out on August 14. The business booked 900 residential homes for the fall 2023 season and will begin loading 18-wheeler trucks full of festive gourds on September 5, with deliveries starting a few weeks later in Dallas-Fort Worth and the beginning of October in Houston.
Pumpkin aficionados in the area still hoping for a display this fall can join a waiting list on the Porch Pumpkins website.
“The concierge pumpkin business model was kind of an untapped market.”
Torres followed her passion for pumpkins into business because she saw a fresh opportunity. “People love having holiday decor,” she explains, with its capacity to “warm your heart” and “make your house more homey” — but that doesn’t mean they necessarily want to do all of the work themselves.
You can hire an interior decorator to deck out your Christmas tree or select holiday decor for your home, Torres says. But she notes that a similar offering for fall didn’t exist before Porch Pumpkins, even though decorating for the season can be even more cumbersome.
“The pumpkins themselves are big and large and heavy and dirty,” Torres explains. “And so that’s what made my business model so perfect — we do all the heavy lifting and the dirty work for you. The concierge pumpkin business model was kind of an untapped market.”
Torres strategically filled that gap with a range of decoration packages suitable for any home’s layout — and anyone’s degree of pumpkin obsession — that allows customers to sit back “until fall arrives at their door.”
“Are you a pumpkin crazy lover…or do you just want some fall decor?”
The concierge service takes the guesswork out of each step of the process, starting with package selection: “I say, ‘Are you a pumpkin-crazy-lover, a pumpkin-lover, or do you just want some fall decor?'” Based on the customer’s response and photos of their home, Torres gives them a couple of suggestions, stressing “there’s not any one perfect package” — it all depends on the desired look and coverage.
Porch Pumpkins provides a seamless experience after the season’s over too. The company will pick up the displays the week before or after Thanksgiving for an additional fee and donate them to local farms, where they’ll be fed to animals.
The $300 package, which includes four large jack o’lanterns, four medium jack o’lanterns, four white ghost pumpkins, an assortment of pie pumpkins and four specialty pumpkins (with design and layout optional for an additional $75 fee), is the company’s most popular, Torres says.
But “pumpkin-crazy-lovers” with bigger budgets can rack up a much higher bill. To date, Porch Pumpkins’ priciest display, installed on a family ranch in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, came in at $8,500.
“It is remarkable,” Torres says. “We do the exterior of the gate, [on] the drive up, there’s a nice-sized display, and then we flank the front doors. And there’s an outside fireplace that we do. It’s really beautiful, and the family just loves having the pumpkins there to kick off their holiday season.”
“I am all about collaboration and helping other people grow in their business desires.”
Now, Torres fields weekly emails from people who are interested in setting up their own pumpkin display businesses, and she’s designing a course to help them do just that.
“I am all about collaboration and helping other people grow in their business desires,” Torres says. “But I’m also a perfectionist, so I want the perfect course to offer people. So [that’s] been about a year-and-a-half in the works.”
Torres also wants to continue to grow Porch Pumpkins — and has her sights set on Austin next.
And although Torres “would never say never” when it comes to expanding her decorating business to include other holidays, she thoroughly enjoys having a seasonal business right now.
“I am a very busy wife and mom,” Torres says. “We have three children, and I love being at all of their events and volunteering at the school. I lead several organizations, so I love this seasonality of pumpkins that I start August 1 and wrap up December 1. December through July, I am free to work on all of those other endeavors that are so important to me and that I love.”