At some point we’ve all thought about growing our own veggies. What could be better than organic, home-grown veggies that are cheap, nutritious and fresh?
But in today’s modern world that little seed of a dream doesn’t stand a chance between your hectic job and life (and your very best intentions to keep plants alive for more than a month). But imagine if someone else could do all that work for you and you harvest the rewards?
Planting the seed
In the US, 2008, Karen Cancilla was fed up being in the insurance industry and health issues had convinced her to switch to an all-organic diet. Much to her annoyance she found that organic veggies lasted half as long and cost twice as much as their intensely farmed counterparts.
“I started wondering if other people were experiencing the same frustration,” says the 50-year old mother of six.
To save money and ensure her produce was truly organic, Cancilla planted her own veggie garden. While harvesting her homegrown goodies, it struck her that lots of busy people want to eat more organic veggies but don’t havethe time or skills to grow their own. So why not build and maintain gardens and even harvest for them?
And so a franchise was born that now has six units across the US. The franchise instals raised-bed gardens, and prices range from $250 to $1 100 depending on the style and size wanted.
The majority of Cancilla’s clients are women between 30 and 55 who are moms of small children and want to teach them how to eat correctly. “These moms also know that when kids grow up with their food, they’re more likely to eat it, while older women want something to nurture,” Cancilla says.
Bearing fruit for all
Cancilla sees a bigger purpose to her business than just growing and harvesting veggies for busy people: She instals veggie patches for schools, offering six- or twelve-week after-school programmes teaching kids how to grow food, and grows gardens for nursing homes, hospitals and businesses too.
“The underlying goal of the company is that people learn how to grow their own food. In the future we’re going to have to be able to do that in small spaces in cities.” To help educate would-be growers, groO Garden Planner software also makes gardening almost failsafe.
And, with future food shortages and the growing worldwide trend of obesity in children, educating them on healthy food choices, where food comes from, and how to grow their own could help curb the trend.
Founder: Karen Cancilla
Footprint: 6 franchises