10 Year Anniversary celebration

A decade is a long time. We didn't always expect Dirt Exchange to last this long, the average small business in Seattle doesn't quite make two years. We are honored and humbled that the Ballard/magnolia community has supported us all this time. We hope in the next ten years to continue growing. We believe in delivering remarkable product to our customers and from a convenient location with a price you can afford.

Thank you for the ten wonderful years of warmth, friendship, and support. We absolutely couldn't have done it without you, our customers.

Why did we start the Dirt Exchange? 

The owner of Dirt Exchange, Gary Ard grew up as a farmer in Idaho to later become an architect with an excavation company in Magnolia. In 2009, after working on homes in Magnolia, Gary’s company had to continually go outside of the city to deal with their excavation needs. So, they decided to create a company that would bring landscape materials closer to the community and be easier for themselves. They wanted to make it the need for good material local and convenient for the neighborhoods on the west side of the city. 

 “I love playing in the dirt. I’ve been doing it all my life and I think it’s fun. I wouldn’t even call this work, we love serving other people who also love playing in the dirt.” Gary Ard, Owner. 

Taking a look back at the past 10 years, there have been many wonderful staff, who have worked tirelessly to make it all possible. 

The team started this business in 2009 with 2 employees -Gary’s daughter, Brittany Ard and Frank Cromwell at our first yard in Magnolia. They started with 2 small delivery trucks that they put together themselves so they could get in and out of the small yards in Seattle. They averaged maybe 10-15 customers a day and started with only a few selections of materials from Cedar Grove and other vendors. Gary and brit

In 2011, Dirt Exchange moved to our Ballard location and neighborhood. We continued to expand our material list to gather the best materials available. We don’t make any of our material on our yard, but we do drive the further to get the best rock, compost and landscaping materials available for our customers. We think of ourselves like a dirt boutique. 

-2019 our fleet is bigger than ever and continually growing. We now have four large dump trucks to load material to and from different the best sources throughout Washington. We have 4 small delivery trucks and plethora of drop box containers. We are consistently growing each year and now have 14 wonderful employees who make this all possible and are continually helping us improve our business. 


Frank Cromwell - has been with us from the start. He has dedicated 10 years to this business and we are grateful for his skills and duration with us. He started with us as a night mechanic and is now our Manager. Frank is a key part of this institution. He plays a major role in our success. He is our go-to guy when we have a problem, he's fixed countless broken down equipment, trucks, keeps track of material in our yard, all while having a family of 9. 

Many of Frank’s kids and family have had an opportunity to work at here dirt exchange. He's  taught them to drive excavators and run other equipment and kept the business in the family. 

He has kept himself busy working hard for the success of this business, thanks for your extra effort and hard work.

We are so grateful to our team- we have wonderful truck drivers, home-delivery drivers, mechanics, yard workers, and front desk staff. 

”Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller