G.R. Greens

G.R. Greens is a small, local farm start-up, with dreams of serving the Grand Rapids community.

What's the big idea?

My start-up idea is a local vertical farm, with hopes to provide Grand Rapids and the surrounding area with clean, fresh produce year-round.  Currently, traditional farming is rather messy and somewhat inefficient.  It typically has a large carbon-footprint and uses many chemicals as well as migrant labor.  My farm seeks to eliminate all three of these factors from the farming process.  G.R. Greens currently employs technology that increases production by five-fold per acre when compared to traditional farming.  My goal is to see what a modern take on farming is capable of.

Describe the nearest player in your field.

Mud Lake Farm LLC is my most direct competitor and they currently have a relative monopoly on local hydroponic produce. They service many local Grand Rapids restaurants and specialty markets, such as Electric Cheetah and Nourish.  I plan to compete directly, expanding the local produce market.

How are you different from that player?

G.R. Greens utilizes more efficient and flexible productive capital.  Mud Lake Farm is limited to producing salad greens and culinary herbs, whereas G.R. Greens is not limited at all in terms of the type of produce is grown. Furthermore, G.R. Greens’ capital is less resource intensive.

How's the world different with your idea in it?

My dream is to have G.R. Greens represent the future of local, sustainable, low-carbon footprint farming.  At every point, I will seek to maximize production while minimizing inputs.  In short, the goal of G.R. Greens is to see what a local farm is capable of producing given modern technology.

Why are you the one to run with this idea?

G.R. Greens placed 2nd and then 1st in the GVSU business plan competition. My business plan is accurate, detailed and profitable.  Moreover, I’ve done and built everything I can myself. From designing the logo to planting, I’ve learned what it takes to run such a start-up, and I know I’m capable.

There have been 7 replies to this page

  1. Josh Leo

    Organic? What other produce are you planning besides greens and strawberries?

  2. Luke Richard


    Hi Josh,
    thanks for the questions.  G.R. Greens will not technically be organic by USDA standards simply because I do not use soil to grow my produce in, instead I use organic coco coir which is essentially ground up coco-nut shells.  In terms of herbicides and pesticides, no herbicides will be used because the farm iss very clean and vertical the vertical aspect of things really keeps things safe from plants and bugs. When pesticides are used, they’re organic certi
    fied and minimally used. 

    In addition to strawberries, salad greens and culinary herbs, G.R. Greens will be producing some tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, sweet corn, broccoli and beans as well. 

    If you have any more questions, I’m happy to answer them. 

    Thanks again, Luke

  3. Trenton Broughton

    Love it! Congrats on the funding!

  4. Marcia Taylor

    Fabulous! So happy you won. Good luck going for the big prize.

  5. Jonathan Williams

    Luke; I love that someone is moving fwd with this in GR. I’ve been following other similar concepts in larger cities. Would you be willing to chat more? Shoot me an email… .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  6. Cindy Schneider

    Luke:  I would be interested in starting a conversation with you about growing product for San Chez Bistro & Cafe in downtown Grand Rapids.  If you are interested, please call me at 616-774-8272.

  7. Debbie Miller

    Love the idea of this and good luck with further funding.

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This idea was funded by public endorsement on May 24, 2012.