Farm-To-Table is passé. This is Table-To-Table! Urban Leaf is about putting real food in your home. We’re a team of foodies, scientists, and people passionate about building a better food system. Rob and Nate met at Columbia University in early 2016, and immediately bonded over their shared vision for building a healthier and more sustainable food system.
Nate left the finance industry in 2015, determined to build something that his grandchildren would one day be proud of. The first dish he learnt how to cook was spaghetti bolognese, and since a young age has been obsessed with food. He has taken cooking classes all over the world, including a Certificate of Culinary Arts in Toronto. Thai and Vietnamese are his favorite, and he once spent a month exploring the Central Highlands of Vietnam by motor bike in search of the perfect bowl of Banh Hoi (it’s all about the fresh herbs!!)
(Dr) Rob was raised on a wood farm in south eastern Massachusetts, and since moving to NYC has made it his mission to make the place a bit greener! His PhD dissertation focused on Vegetated Infrastructure, and after meeting Nate in early 2016 began to use his plant knowledge to design food growing systems. As well as running R&D, manufacturing and dispatch at Urban Leaf, he has also become famous for his “Upper Westo Pesto” (fortunately he has a very good supply of fresh basil).
The impact that our food choices has on both the health of the planet and our own bodies is a subject that fascinates us – and is something we strive to improve. We believe that growing food in Urban environments solves a huge number of food industry problems, including shorter supply chains, with less food miles, less wastage, less packaging and higher nutritional density. That said, growing food in urban environments also brings with it a number of unique challenges – most commonly a lack of time, space and know-how. We’re developing products that help overcome these obstacles – and make growing food at home fun, easy and accessible. As New-Yorkers living in 600 sqft apartments ourselves, we understand these challenges better than most.
Our first product is an eco-friendly beginner hydroponic unit called The World’s Smallest Garden. It’s possibly also the World’s Easiest To Use! The World’s Smallest Garden lets plants water themselves – using patented hydroponic technology. There are no more excuses for “I tried to grow a plant once, but it died” 🙂