Conner Tidd, Just Vertical
Tell us about your company and what inspired you to start it / join it?
I was inspired by my own frustrations trying to make awesome tacos. Everytime I would go out to buy cilantro I found I could only get through half of the bunch before the other half went bad. I wished I could just grow my own fresh herbs at home but living in a Toronto condo in the winter there weren’t too many options. The indoor gardens that were out there were either too industrial looking or took up precious countertop space so I said, okay let's build something different.
How specifically does it relate to sustainable design, production and/or consumption?
Growing your own food with Just Vertical is all about cutting down on food waste. By growing your own food at home you only need to pick off what you need for that meal and you can let the rest keep on growing.
In addition when you grow your own food using our systems you grow using 95% less water, and no pesticides.
What community or customer behaviors are you hoping to create or reinforce?
We are trying to get people to reconnect with their food and what goes into it. By bringing growing food right into the home not only do you save money but you also get to learn and see how plants grow resulting in a win for you, your family, and the environment.
What is one of the most helpful or enlightening lessons you’ve learned along the way?
One of the most interesting lessons I’ve learned along the way is how much in the world of business happens just because it has always been that way. For us setting off to build a sustainable product and socially conscious business from the start, we’ve run into tons of pushback that when you dig into it is just there because that's how people are used to doing it.
So don’t be afraid to challenge and break the norms, sometimes making an impact is as easy as questioning the status quo and taking a risk on something different.
What’s the biggest problem you’re currently trying to solve?
Right now we are doing all we can to try and make growing your own food more affordable for people at home. With rising food prices affecting everyone of us we are taking steps to try and reduce the burden on the average consumer.
One of our biggest steps in this regard has been the introduction of the produce payback promise. Our produce payback promise provides all the seeds and nutrients you need to grow back the value of your garden. That means that the garden pays for itself right from the begging so you can start saving money from day 1.
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