US (CA): Livermore couple provides fresh microgreens to local restaurants

LED lights shine down upon many soil-filled trays and their occupants for 18 hours a day. These trays, some with greens poking above the soil and others with developing seeds, fill racks that border a 250-square-foot converted garage.

Within days to weeks, they grow into small but familiar vegetables and herbs: micro cilantro, micro arugula, micro radish, and more. Two years ago, this indoor production started with just a $300 budget for seeds, soil, and equipment. But with proper tending, Katie Lee and Chris Ybarra, co-owners of MicroDreams in Livermore, grew their dream from hobby to business with ideals of human connection and quality in mind.

MicroDreams has bloomed into a business that produces and supplies microgreens of laudable freshness to local businesses and households. Owning the company has brought challenges, but Lee and Ybarra have overcome them through collaboration and anticipate MicroDreams’ further expansion, they told Livermore Vine. In addition to the financial viability of growing at home, Lee said the two chose Livermore as a place to take root since “wanting to serve our community first and branch out later as we’re able to.”

Sales started at Livermore’s Farmer’s Market, which connected them to their mission of growing relationships with the community over fresh greens. While MicroDreams is no longer selling at the market, they sell direct-to-consumer and supply microgreens to local eateries like Livermore’s Sons of Liberty Alehouse, Wingen Bakery, and The Press, which also has a location in Pleasanton.


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