Stabilization Grant, Fall 2013
Greensgrow Farms was started by a woman named Mary twenty years ago. She was a former chef, and she observed the need to source high quality, hydroponically grown micro-greens in Philadelphia. The urban farm is located in the Kensington neighborhood just off of Aramingo Avenue.
Greensgrow Farms‘ business model has morphed and changed over its many years of operation with it currently operating as a nonprofit parent with a for-profit subsidiary. The nonprofit exists so the founder can fundraise and pilot innovative food access solutions to affiliates such as the West Philly Food Hub and the Trenton Food Hub. These affiliates typically run out of trucks and deliver fresh food with low prices to low-income neighborhoods. The for-profit side is a Garden Center, a market-rate Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and a planting contractor. Money from the for-profit is donated to the nonprofit parent to create a stable cash flow system and reserve.
In 2013, Greensgrow Farms’ Point of Sale (POS) system ran on a very old DOS system. It also did not communicate well at all with their QuickBooks or Excel.
Overhauling this system was an expensive task, however, with the suitable upgrade to their POS system, efficiency in the workplace increased. Accuracy also increased, largely with bookkeeping and financial reporting. While Greensgrow Farm continues to actively grow, Mary will be able to hire more people, serve more affiliates delivering fresh produce to low-income neighborhoods, and serve Philadelphia as whole with her sustainable model.