Growing Happy

Why we invested in Rise Gardens

A food fight in America rages on. Sugar blames fat. Fat calls out gluten. The government and lobbyists enable it all. And the loser? The consumer – left confused by all the claims and counterclaims of companies trying to guilt them into their way of eating. But, consumers are demanding change. They are looking for brands to build their relationship with food, not tear it down. They are demanding more fresh, healthy and clean-label foods with transparency into where the ingredients come from. We have seen this shift manifest at our investments in Factor and The Fresh Factory, the latter of which was founded as the country’s first indoor vertical farm. What piqued our interest in indoor farming was the fact that our food system is incredibly complex and energy inefficient.

WE ASKED OURSELVES, AND CONSUMERS, SHOULDN’T FOOD BE GROWN CLOSER TO WHERE IT’S CONSUMED?

Growing Happy

I met founder Hank Adams 2 years ago as he was launching his vision for the future of home grown food. In his office, Hank proudly showed off his garden that boasted the brightest peppers and an abundance of greens. And since then, Rise has expanded their varieties to now include 136 different types of plants and crops; resulting in the freshest food and an experience the whole family can enjoy. If food should be grown closer to where it is consumed, there is nowhere closer than your kitchen.

Last April as the world shut down, I bought my family a Rise Garden for our home. Having the opposite of a green thumb, I wasn’t sure how successful I would be. Much to my surprise, I was growing lettuce, tomatoes and peppers in no time. It was a fun activity during an uncertain time. And while we were able to eat and enjoy our bounty, I also realized that Rise was more than just a source of fresh tasty ingredients. The experience of taking care of our plants and the physical garden itself was a constant reminder of well-being and a tool to teach my 3 young boys where food comes from. Sure we were growing food, but we were also growing happy!

So while we are convinced more and more people will want to have fresh produce growing right in their kitchen, what excites us most about Rise is the opportunity to add joy to people’s lives. The food we eat, the air we breathe and the environment we live in, have dramatic effects on the human condition and Rise is a brand and experience that positively impacts all three! We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Hank and the entire Rise Gardens team to the Listen fam, and we look forward to growing together.

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