They formed a company called Beekman 1802 and branched into gourmet foods, home decor and gardening.
Within two years they were discovered reality show producers who developed the Fabulous Beekman Boys for Discovery, the network that launched the program.
Meanwhile, Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell forged a relationship with the Cobleskill college through their involvement in the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival and their affiliation with landscape classes helping with the restoration of a community park in the village.
He taps into the students’ own surroundings — their campus — to acquaint them with the fundamentals of marketing, assigning them to develop a marketing plan for the college. He said he advises them to always look for new ways to devise opportunities that will advance their business.
“I really believe that our SUNY campuses can be great resources for the people living in the towns near them,” Ridge said.
He also encourages students to consider that the level of achievement they attain in their careers reflects on the college that they chose to attend. “The more successful they are in their careers, the more valuable a SUNY Cobleskill education and their diploma will be,” he said.