“Microgreens are becoming a salad category on their own. It could move things around in the baby greens category as microgreens are becoming a common retail product used in the end consumers’ salads, wraps, smoothies, and more. However, that’s not well integrated in all markets yet and that’s why there is a lot of opportunity for more farms to launch and scale. The trend is still going up, and I expect to see it going up for the foreseeable future, as it’s such a flavourful and nutrient-dense product,” says Jonah Krochmalnek, founder and CEO of Microgreens Consulting and founder of Living Earth Farm.
Microgreens Consulting, founded by Jonah Krochmalnek, emerged from his experience at Living Earth Farm for the past 10 years. After selling the farm, Jonah was eager to share his knowledge in microgreen farming to empower and help other growers. Figuring he could help navigate fellow peers who might run into similar challenges of running a microgreens farm, Jonah started his podcast, where he highlights the struggles and successes of growers.
Knowledge exchange for industry growth
“I believe in an open-book philosophy as exchanging information will push the industry forward, creating collective power. I feel very called and drawn to this work and want to help others achieve the success I had with microgreens.”
Due to interest that was followed by media attention for Living Earth Farm’s innovative approach to microgreens, Jonah started helping other farms scale their businesses. Within a few years, that resulted in the startup launching its very own free Microgreens Growers Guide that includes everything you need to know to start a small microgreens business.
If that weren’t enough, Jonah provides consulting services in which he guides growers and helps them overcome struggles or aids them in becoming more efficient or profitable in their operations. Thus far, Jonah has helped growers in Japan, Bulgaria, Ireland, Spain, Australia, and across North America.
“It’s mostly about helping them understand the basics. Once the foundation is set, we’ll dive into sales and marketing to speed up the learning curve to sell into different markets. Then we’ll provide a playbook on how to take a small-scale farm to a viable business and pay you a proper salary.”
For instance, a very common issue that beginning entrepreneurs often struggle with is sales. According to Jonah, most start with the ‘logical’ option, selling through the internet. However, logistically, it’s inconvenient to have to deliver all these different-sized orders at different times on a business scale. Later on, the sales channels become more efficient once B2B sales channels have been introduced.
“Retail and a combination of restaurants are the strongest foundation for the sales channels. Often retail and restaurant customers have an inverse demand correlation, so they balance each other well to create stable year-round demand for microgreens.”
Most understand the basics of farming, but they lack some experience in the marketing and sales end, which is very understandable. Therefore, Jonah and his team have developed a playbook to help remedy these issues before even facing them through consulting. “The great thing about microgreens is that you can produce year round and have products to sell in a couple weeks or less.”