277: Joseph Martinez on Microgreens.
Building a business on the tiniest greens.
Joseph is a co-founder of Arizona Microgreens, an urban farm in Phoenix which produces microgreens for restaurants, schools, and individuals throughout the state of Arizona. Using a DIY approach of starting small and growing incrementally, Joseph and his brother built their start-up from a 200-square-foot self-built greenhouse, to a social enterprise model operating out of a 13,000-square-foot greenhouse.
Initially focused on the fine-dining market, Arizona Microgreens is now producing microgreens for farm-to-school programs, naturopathic clinics, and a much broader range of diverse customers.
In This Podcast:
As a young adult with an unfocused passion, Joseph Martinez was looking for something that he could feel good doing. His travels gave him little nudges in the right direction, but things did not really come clear until he decided to start a business with his brother and got some unexpected advice from a client. Just a few years later, they have a thriving business growing microgreens and he’s loving the difference he is making and the meaningfulness that exists in his life.
Listen in and learn about:
- A little history on how he found his way to Arizona Microgreens
- Sadness from not having a focus for his passion
- Getting started from scratch by removing all easy options
- The first warehouse compared to the new warehouse
- Listening to the advice of the restaurant chefs
- What microgreens are and how to recognize them
- Several different varieties that work as microgreens
- The nutritional value of the tiny plants
- Being at the right place at the right time
- A social enterprise model that he can feel good about
- Contemplative gastronomy
- Making a scene in a restaurant eating alone
- Partnering with other projects in the valley
- The problems with temporary use spaces
As well as:
His failure – Planning on next steps forward and getting ready to move onto a vacant lot which almost ruined the business
His success – His relationship with his brother
His drive – Falling in love with microgreens
His advice – Learn how to listen on a deep deep level, observe and interact
How to reach Joseph: