Inspiration struck when I was eating a salad back home, and it occurred to me mid-bite, “I live in a desert. Where on Earth could these plants have come from?” It turns out pretty far.
The fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain has been detrimentally centralized for a long time. Not to get too into the weeds, since it’s the same old story with all massive, impersonal industries: no matter where we are, the produce we eat is grown in just a few far-flung places due to economies of scale and regions that are environmentally blessed with longer growing seasons. So I decided to invent technology to change that. I wanted to put a little sense of humanity back into produce.
I started by jerry-rigging a growing chamber in my bedroom and attempting to grow lettuce. My entire day revolved around keeping the plant alive—I was so proud the day I finally harvested it. Suffice it to say it wasn't the most flavorful product the first time around. I recognized that my strong suit remains in manufacturing and supply chain management—but I had an idea. So I partnered with a team of experts in all of the fields needed to bring this idea to life.
Together, over the course of 4 years of plant science research and equipment development we invented and patented technology that allows us to grow food—anywhere in the world—at competitive costs compared to conventionally grown produce. Now we’re giving people access to fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, boasting flavor that surpasses not just my first attempt, but—I think you’ll agree—is far beyond that of even your typical supermarket fare.
I hope to see the next leg of our adventure take high-quality produce from being viewed as a luxury to being a cost-effective, sustainable human right to all—from those living in food deserts, to those, like my childhood home, who live in actual deserts. We’ll do our part to help make that happen. Until that day, there’s untill.
– Ahmad Z