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Farmigo’s new headquarters in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Whether you’re an urban dweller looking for better access to organic produce or an agriculturalist looking for better access to a community, Farmigo is the company that will change how you interact with people and food. The website, launched in California in 2009, allows individuals to order a wide array of seasonal, fresh foods from small community farms. Each order is packaged and shipped within 48 hours of harvest and sent to designated communal pick up locations to be picked up by the customer at a prearranged time. At the helm of each pick up location is a community organizer, considered the backbone of the entire operation, that ensures that all orders are shipped and available to the customers as requested. And Farmigo is getting ever closer to the New York City market, with the opening of its headquarters in Gowanus, Brooklyn last week

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The Farmigo mission, as told through visualization.

Combining the convenience of technology, the health benefits of locally produced food, and the social gains from communal organization, Farmigo has set itself up as a catalyst in the current agricultural revolution of urban farming. Small businesses have become forerunners in improving the agricultural sector of local economies, and farmers who work with Farmigo can earn between $0.60 to $0.70 on the dollar, as opposed to the typical $0.20. This encourages farmers to build Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) businesses, which allow for producers and consumers alike to share the risks and benefits of food production. Eventually everyone in a community becomes involved in the food distribution process, and Farmigo has even begun working with primary schools to both educate students on the health benefits of locally-grown organic food and to set up pickup locations.

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Founder and CEO, Benzi Ronen.

Farmigo moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to DUMBO last year in the hopes of having better access to other startups in both the food and tech industries, including Brooklyn Grange, Mast Brothers Chocolate Company, and Splendid Spoon, among others. The company now reliably serves customers all throughout the New York and San Francisco metropolitan areas, with a focus on better serving suburbs where food systems, though efficient, have become unsustainable and impersonal. With great success has come the need for more space, and the Farmigo team officially opened up their new headquarters in Gowanus last week. The 5,000 square foot space, a converted warehouse made from raw and sustainable materials, is brightly lit and welcoming, with a row of open offices named for different seasons of the year. 

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In keeping with its communal mission statement, Farmigo is set to host regular Food Hackers Meetups, with Moth-style storytelling and deliciously catered food. We were fortunate enough to preview the space before the first Meetup and get a (literal) taste of what Farmigo is all about. With a disarming smile and a soothing baritone voice, founder and CEO Benzi Ronen greeted guests and took them on a personal tour of the headquarters. His enthusiasm was contagious, and he proudly showcased his operation as a home, complete with a working kitchen in the back. Ronen’s background in the tech history with the entrepreneurial endeavor, Octago, is bolstered by a long personal relationship with agriculture, having helped his father build farming communities while growing up.

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Ronen and the Farmigo team hope to expand their operations to other U.S. cities in the near future, but for the time being are doing all they can to help put Gowanus at the forefront of community-based urban agriculture.

untapped-cities-farmigo-3Some of the delicious food, catered personally by Farmigo staff, on hand at the company’s official opening.

Join Local Roots NYC, one of Brooklyn’s own Community Shared Agriculture programs. Read more about the Brooklyn food scene here. Get in touch with the author on his website and @Thisisnotreale.

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