NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) - Among the manicured lawns and idyllic streets of Kenner, La. stands a garage that holds a secret.
"I think our neighbors know," says the garage's owner Yvette Tablada. "I don't think they've ever been inside."
The secret behind the painted aluminum door is the culmination of a two-year journey from a balcony in Miami to the suburbs of New Orleans.
"We were putting it in ovens and using hair dryers just trying to figure out how to feasibly dry it," Tablada says.
Before you get the impression Tablada and her partner Andres de le Puente are a Louisiana's latest couple to 'break bad,' their secret is completely safe and legal.
The secret is used coffee grounds.
"A lot of people look at us kind of weird," said de la Puente. "Like, 'What are those people doing collecting trash?'"
But old coffee grounds are more than just leftovers from morning lattes. They are the main ingredient of Grounds to Ground, a 100% green soil conditioner.
"I'm not going to say that putting coffee in your garden is something we've come up with, by any means." said Tablada.
She actually stumbled onto the idea while studying for a Master's degree in Public Health. A year of research later, she had a recipe to enhance the natural soil-enriching benefits of coffee grounds while adding pest-repellent properties.
The secret is also 100% natural, environmentally friendly and pet-safe, and the bag is bio-degradable too. Just toss it in the compost bin when it is empty.
Tablada and de le Puente collect their grounds from local coffee shops. Once the grounds are dried, cleaned and sifted, they add their special blend of spices straight from the garden. Currently Grounds to Ground features two different blends: one that fends off cats and another that repels ants, slugs, and snails.
Grounds to Ground is available in fifteen garden supply stores around New Orleans and in the company's online store.
Tablada likes to think of it as a beautifully simple solution to every gardener's nightmare. She and de le Puente hope that very soon their little secret will not be so secret anymore.