James H. Douglas, Jr., a lawyer and senior-level official for the Eisenhower administration, once remarked that the deep respect we have for the land and its bounties is a result of the tireless efforts of generations of farmers who have nourished us, preserved our natural beauty, and inspired us with their strong work ethic. When Idahoans discuss companies with a lasting impact, Zamzows invariably tops the list. The legacy of Zamzows has significantly influenced Idaho and its rural community for multiple generations. It all began with Carmelita Zamzow, a pioneering woman.
Zamzows, founded by Carmelita and August Zamzow in 1933, has been a fixture in Idaho. After selling their farm during the height of the Great Depression, they reinvested in a feed store in Boise, Idaho. Carmelita’s love for farming and her animals drove her to make a positive impact on others, even after losing her own farm. She painstakingly crafted high-quality ingredients, knowing they would enhance the animals’ well-being and longevity. The enduring legacy of her unwavering commitment to health and quality is evident in the company’s successful 90-year history of service. Zamzows honors her passion for the finest ingredients, animal health, and value through its renowned “Grandma Z’s” brand and the products associated with it. While Zamzows initially focused on producing quality feed, the company has since expanded its offerings to include lawn and garden care.
When Carmelita and August Zamzow decided to retire, their children, Jim and Rick, naturally took over the business. Jim’s children, Jos and Callie, pursued their own careers but remained involved with Zamzows, lending a helping hand when needed. However, when a change in management steered the company in an undesirable direction, Jos and Callie took ownership in order to preserve the core principles that had brought Zamzows to its current position. Jos Zamzow remarked, “The previous leadership had lost sight of the fundamental principles that propelled us to this point. Zamzows was built on these principles, and we were drifting away from them.” Thus, in 2018, Jos and Callie became co-CEOs of Zamzows Lawn and Garden, steering the company back on track.