Starting a business is no easy task, especially when your first harvest of a little-known superfood coincides with the beginning of an economy-crippling global pandemic.
That is the challenge Gorge Greens of Carson, Wash., faced head on when they harvested and delivered their first crop of certified organic microgreens into local grocery stores in mid-March.
Microgreens are seedlings of edible plants that are harvested between the sprout and baby greens stage.
Co-founder and Operations Director Elona Trogub is a chef, farmer and herbalist by trade.
“I believe food is medicine, said Trogub. “We started this business to make it easy for people to ‘gorge greens.’ Not only are they a feast for the eyes and taste buds, they’re a nutritional feast for the body to do its work properly. Now if only we could do what every other new food business has done and have a demonstration table at the grocery store!”
COVID has made things especially challenging — from restaurants shutting down and not being able to talk to retail customers directly, to supply lines breaking down causing a last minute scramble for labels and other supplies.
“Anyone starting a new business has to be a bit crazy, but to start one during a pandemic — well, we’ve been a special kind of crazy but we’re persevering,” Trogub said.
Most businesses celebrate with a launch party. Gorge Greens finished build-out and immediately went into crisis-mode as the pandemic shut down the economy.
“Somewhere down the line, we’re going to have to have a big party,” said Michael Hanna, co-founder and director of technology.
Gorge Greens plans to expand organic production into hot crops like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers using waste wood to heat and power Dutch-style greenhouses are already in the works.
Gorge Greens microgreens come in two varieties: All Systems Go! and Spice Up Your Life!
Both can be purchased at various stores in the Gorge, Hood River Farmers Market, and select stores in Portland and Vancouver, or order bulk online through gorgegreens.com/porchdrop.