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Fresh Produce Grows Big Results for Akron Startup

9/25/2017
Crain's Cleveland Business

A downtown Akron company that was started in late 2014 by two young men who wanted to be part of the restaurant industry without giving up all of their nights and weekends has seen explosive growth in the demand for its fresh-grown basil, lettuce and microgreens.  Vigeo Gardens, which grows its crops in an indoor, highly controlled, chemical-free environment in downtown Akron and delivers its products fresh to area restaurants, grocery stores and food distributors, had about $23,000 in sales the first year. In year two, sales were $250,000, and they are on pace to be at least $750,000 in 2017, said Vincent Peterson, the company's chief executive officer. 
 
"We believe the facility could yield $2 million to $3 million in sales once it is fully operational," said Jacob Craine, chief marketing officer.  The huge growth is the result of matching good science with innovative ideas and hard work. Craine said he, Peterson and Mark Preston, chief operating officer, routinely put in 80 to 100 hours a week.  This journey all started when Craine, 26, and Peterson, 25, friends since kindergarten, grew their first crop of microgreens in Craine's basement in 2014. 

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