UMass students launch successful microgreens business

On a sunny Saturday in mid-September, two young men did brisk business selling small baggies of bright green produce at a Greenfield Farmers Market booth. Supreme Microgreens co-founder Alex Ayanian smiled brightly as an older gentleman approached. “Would you like to try a sample?” Ayanian asked, but the customer interrupted: “I don’t need a sample. I know which one I like best.” Pointing to a tray, the customer said, “I’ll take four ounces.”

Ayanian reached for super-sharp scissors and deftly snipped, then weighed, delicate shoots to satisfy the fellow’s request. The customer glanced at his shopping list, clearly intent on finishing his errands. He paid Ayanian’s co-owner, Kagan Sherson, for the baggie of greens and began to walk away but turned back and said, “I love this stuff.”

Supreme Microgreens are grown in 16 trays at a time on stacked racks occupying 16-by-18 feet of basement space. The versatile food can be used fresh on sandwiches, in salads, and in stir-fries, while frozen microgreens make fabulous smoothies.

“There are a whole bunch of reasons why microgreens are a great choice for healthy eating,” said Ayanian. The 20-year-old University of Massachusetts Amherst student launched Supreme Microgreens at the end of his sophomore year last May with his friend, Robert Stark. Two more friends, Kagan Sherson and Cameron Sulivan, have joined the business. Ever since the entrepreneurs converted the basement of their rented house into growing space, “our fridge and freezer are packed with bags and bags of greens,” said Ayanian. “Growing microgreens is so much fun now that we’ve figured out what we did wrong in the beginning.”


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