Super Duper Microgreens

Cultivating Community Resilience with Microgreens

“Not only does Fresh Approach help distribute my products to the neighborhoods that truly need it, but they educate the folks in these communities as well. The amount of time and effort Fresh Approach has given to not just me, but all the farmers that are supplying these trucks every week: they give us all a chance to get our products to people who deserve and need these resources.”

Bay Area born and raised, Oliver Gayo was always fascinated by growing his own food and uplifting his community. Inspired by his family’s small home garden, dissatisfied from the quality of grocery store produce, and a desire to see more healthy food options in West Contra Costa County, he decided to become a farmer.

He landed on microgreens for two major reasons: 1) they are some of the fastest growing vegetables, and 2) their incredible nutrient density. In particular, having grown up in the Richmond and San Pablo community in the 90’s, Oliver saw firsthand the rise of crime leading to fast food franchises taking root, leaving folks with little to no options for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Over the course of a decade, Richmond and San Pablo quickly became food deserts.

“Till today, you have kids in my neighborhood not having a pallet for vegetables and just resorting to fast food. This inspired me to grow the vegetables close to home and want to inspire the next generation about healthy eating.”

And thus, Super Duper Microgreens was born.

But what exactly are microgreens?

This was Oliver’s next big challenge: to successfully launch Super Duper Microgreens, he would need to first educate a community that has historically gone without fresh produce about a not-so-common vegetable.

Thankfully, an extensive background in marketing and sales helped Oliver with communicating to the folks about microgreens. But everything changed for his business when he connected with East Bay Food Access Program Manager, Ellen Olack, at the Concord Farmers’ Market to sell through our mobile farmers’ markets.

“Working with Fresh Approach took my business to the next level, having a committed order to fulfill every week gave me an opportunity to get in gear for supplying large accounts. It kept me accountable – from making sure my production met the demand and delivering on time and consistently.”

Not only galvanizing Oliver’s business goals, but working with Fresh Approach also touched upon his more personal goal to educate folks with limited access to fresh fruits and veggies about microgreens. He notes it would have been a serious financial risk for him to try to sell in Richmond and San Pablo by himself because of the community’s historical disconnection to fresh produce.

Selling through our mobile farmers’ markets presented him a low-risk sales channel, while our team could simultaneously educate the community about microgreens.

Everyone walks away more nourished.

Oliver’s desire for community resilience in Richmond and San Pablo continues to evolve as he grows Super Duper Microgreens: he’s currently employing two apprentices who are not only learning how to manage his microgreens operations in Martinez, but they’re also acquiring employable business and life skills.

“My most prideful moment as a farmer so far has been to build a farm from an idea and teach the operating procedures to a younger generation.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Oliver and his microgreens, be sure check his website and farmers’ market schedule below.

And if you’re in the Richmond, San Pablo, Antioch, or San Jose areas, stop at our mobile farmers’ market truck to snag some of his microgreens!

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