Slovenian Farm ReactGreen's Amazing Story: From -7.500€ To 80.000€ Yearly Revenue in 5 Years
- Featuring the first farm in Slovenia
- Read the Amazing story of Saša & Boštjan
- Check their stunning images of microgreen meals
- What's The Name of Your Farm and where are you based?
Our international brand name is ReactGreen. Locals recognize our Slovenian company name - Mikrozelenje Šebenik. We are based in Slovenia, one of the smallest countries in Europe.
- What's the story behind your farm?
In 2013, when I was pregnant with our daughter Inja, I needed rest all the time. In order to spend my time more wisely, I decided to search for something that will spark joy in our minds, and that could become a business into which we would put all our passion and drive.
I kept browsing the internet, knowing that something out there will find me. And that is exactly what happened. I came across a lovely couple, Maya and Jerry, originally from Slovenia, but who lived in New Zealand and who started a small yet sustainable business in microgreens.
When I first saw what they were doing I was blown away. I could not imagine how these small, tiny and lovely plants could enable anyone to create a business utilizing them. But I fell in love.
As I had previously already conceived several ideas from my all-day browsing, I was a bit anxious to present this one to my lovely partner Boštjan. Yet he always said, “When you find something that will fit us, we will go for it”.
When he heard about microgreens his reaction was emotional “This is it! This could work for us!”.
You just know when you are making the right choice. You get butterflies in your tummy, goosebumps all over and you are blown away. We felt the same.
You just know when you are making the right choice.Saša, co-founder of ReactGreen
We did not have any experience with microgreens, as I was a Director’s assistant in a pharmaceutical company and Boštjan was very good at his job with 18 years experience in a printing company. However, our focus was on learning about microgreens, and on how to create a business from them.
Feeling alive once again
I was feeling alive once again. Our passion and vibe were so tuned, that I researched through every page that I could find on the topic, watched every video that I came across, and even bought a printed course on how to build a business with microgreens. Every day, we were more convinced that this is it. I also researched the Slovenian market to see if a demand existed and how many growers were already present.
Yet all we found was one person selling microgreens to restaurants, though he did this only as a part-time job. But we saw the potential for a full time business. We did not have the tools or equipment for growing, but I decided to go to the nearest shop selling seeds and I bought 2 sachets of radishes.
As soon as we started to sow, we realized that we didn’t have enough seeds. I went on researching. This time I focused on the seeds and tools that we needed, and on the conditions required by young plants for their optimum growth. We had to improvise.
The first crop
The first crop was grown in our so-called tunnel, which we used for storing our junk. Boštjan created the perfect environment with fans and lights. Every morning, the first thing we did was to check if there was any progress in growth. Due to lack of experience we had left the lights on all day long. Looking at our efforts, you can easily see that we were growing something unsuitable.
One week later though, we already had a bunch of delicious young plants, called microgreens and they were grown with our own hands. We had pea, radish and sunflower (during my research, I found which plants were considered best for beginners, we gave them a try and our efforts paid off).
Beginning of a journey
That same day we decided that this was really it. This was something we wanted to do. And so our journey began.
We started selling at farmers’ markets, but soon we realized that we need more sales. We were looking into restaurants. Soon we realized that finding restaurants is the easy part but finding the right person to present yourself is more challenging.
When we finally found the right person (the best way is to get in contact directly with the chief chef), we had to explain them what microgreens are because in Slovenia, at that time, few chefs knew what they were. Nowadays the majority of chefs are already aware of microgreens and they grab them fast. We are so happy that we are a part of this industry.
- What's the funniest exciting story you've experienced while running the farm?
From the start, when we were selling at farmers’ markets, whenever people tried our radishes, they were looking for radish bulbs. It was so funny to me, because I knew that there aren’t any and that leaves themselves are so strong in taste that all people were blown away and they couldn't understand how this is possible 🙂
- What types of microgreens and other produce are you currently growing?
We grow 50+ different varieties, and still are adding new ones, because we have some really advanced chefs. We also grow edible flowers and we also pick up wild plants in nature. Now in the springtime, this is very interesting and there are many edible plants out there.
View this post on Instagram
Lovely and tasty arugola. If you love mature one, then this one is definitely for you. Ful of flavor, that's for sure. We are so happy that people are supporting local businesses so much during this crisis💚we started new chapter in our business - new adventure - different business model. Asking what are we doing? We will release blog post📜 & video🎥 soon🔜. Follow us here to be notified or subscribe to our newsletter📧. Link to our website in bio⬆️ . . . . . . . . . #reactgreen #microgreen #microgreens #microgreensalad #microgreenfarm #farmtochef #sprouts #greens #plantbasedpower #indoorfarming #chefslife #cheffood #gourmet #eatyourveggies #chef #growingmicrogreens #healthyfoodchoices #nutrientdensefood #microgreensbusiness #microgreenbusiness #newopportunities #newadventures #newbusinessmodel #arugola #rocket #coronatime
- What makes your produce different?
Our large product list. Moreover, we are drying edible flowers during the season, so that we have them all year around. Our microgreens are special due to the fact that we sell them as living ones, grown on a soil, in smaller containers (trays). With this approach, our chefs can get 8 different varieties on one big tray. What’s more, if they handle them as they are supposed to (daily watering), their 'shelf life' will be longer than if they just cut them.
- What type of clients do you currently serve and what locations do you cover?
Currently, because of Corona time, we are delivering to households, to a healthy shop and now that restaurants have permission to serve in the terrace, we are delivering back to some restaurants.
View this post on Instagram
Look on beauties from the top💚🌱it's really thrilling to grow different varieties to chefs and making them happy💪😀🌱🌱 . . . . . . . . . . . #reactgreen #microgreen #microgreens #microgreensalad #microgreenfarm #farmtochef #sprouts #greens #plantbasedpower #indoorfarming #chefslife #cheffood #gourmet #eatyourveggies #chef #growingmicrogreens #healthyfoodchoices #nutrientdensefood #microgreensbusiness #microgreenbusiness
- What's Your Mission?
We created our brand React Green, to help others with growing microgreens and to help them set up microgreen business. Since we would like our planet to be as green as it could be, we are now in the final phase of creating and producing our own biodegradable trays (in industrial composts), because there is just too much disposable plastic going on in the microgreen business. With little steps forward we hope to create a better future for all of us and our off springs.
Sadly, a lot of smaller farms and ones that started just recently are struggling to survive due to the huge drop in sales this spring.
What would you do if you were in a similar situation, but had the experience you have today?
Yes, it’s a tough situation for all of us, but I still would like to motivate all your readers. In every bad situation you need to find something good. Something that will keep you motivated and with the forward thinking. We also had a few bad days in the beginning, but then we encouraged and motivated each other with our vision, our mission, what we are creating now is for the future.
View this post on Instagram
We share how our business is affected because of Covid-19. From first depressed week to reorganize business and take action. We are now still operating, but delivering to households. People need healthy, fresh&local food, and here we come. Hope you will be motivated too💚 https://reactgreens.com/microgreens-and-impact-of-coronavirus-time/. Link in bio also😀🌱🌱 comment below, how did you adjust your business in this strange times? 👇 . . . . . . . . #reactgreen #microgreen #microgreens #microgreensalad #microgreenfarm #farmtochef #sprouts #greens #plantbasedpower #indoorfarming #chefslife #cheffood #gourmet #eatyourveggies #chef #growingmicrogreens #healthyfoodchoices #nutrientdensefood #microgreensbusiness #microgreenbusiness #coronatime
For our business in Slovenia we started creating a new website at the beginning of the lockdown. Today, 2 months later, we just released a new website and opened our new web store. We are so excited now, that we are finally able to show all of our products to the people. Things will get back to normal, but slowly. Especially in the culinary word. But you know, people at home will need healthy, good food more and more, so this is still a niche and will be even more important in the future.
What to do next?
Did you enjoy ReactGreen’s story? Please do share it on your social media profiles.
- Check the farm's website - reactgreens.com/
- Join ReactGreen’s Facebook Group - Microgreens by ReactGreen Tribe
- Check their Fan Page ReactGreen
- Follow them in Instagram - @reactgreen
- ReactGreen’s Pinterest Profile
- The farm’s Youtube Channel
- Here's the story on the farm's website.