Due to the war, Volodymyr Mironenko and his girlfriend Veronica moved from Kharkiv to Ivano-Frankivsk. In their new location, they started their own business growing microgreens and edible flowers.
Within a year, the "MicroGreen Prykarpattia" relocated from their initial premises to a significantly larger space. While the first farm, covering 68.5 square meters, theoretically could yield up to 5000 boxes of microgreens per month, the new location, with a total area of 350 square meters, has the potential for a maximum output of up to 50,000 boxes. This expanded facility is still under construction.
Mironenko's business began with inspiration from YouTube videos on small businesses, production, sales, and logistics. With their funds redirected from plans to buy a flat in Kharkiv, they invested in their first farm, microgreens cultivation. In particular, a significant portion of the budget was allocated to shelves. They have been equipped with lighting and automatic watering. The latter saves employees' working hours, and the timer-controlled lighting allows for electricity savings. The entire system is managed through a smartphone.
Finding suitable premises was a challenge, requiring specific features such as high electricity capacity, ventilation, a minimum of 70 square meters, and tiled floors.
In terms of competition, Mironenko mentions a community of around a thousand microgreens enthusiasts in Ukraine. Despite being initially inexperienced, he quickly became a source of advice for others.
The main challenge for all farmers, according to Mironenko, is obtaining quality seeds. He emphasizes the importance of investing a bit more in high-quality seeds rather than compromising on their quality.
The initial customers were chefs from a city center restaurant. Currently, their products are being featured in major supermarkets.
Currently, the focus is on the retail sector, as it allows them to build a reputation. Mironenko plans to expand with similar farms near Kyiv and Kharkiv. He acknowledges the uncertainty in business but expresses the desire to remain grounded and calm despite challenges, akin to a Tibetan monk.