Gardenio Founder on Episode 423 of “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do”
Roman Gonzalez knows about growing food and growing a company. Gonzalez is Founder and CEO of Gardenio, an Austin based startup with the big mission to get the world reconnected to their food by sharing the joy of growing it themselves – not with fancy, expensive, patented gardening gizmos, but with old fashioned good soil, good plants, and good people. Gardenio sends you everything you need to start growing on your porch or balcony, in the amount you need, curated to your area, for under $35. A kind of Blue Apron and Brandless for making your space edible. They’re working on a mobile app to help you as you grow, organizing thousands of years of food growing wisdom, and more. Gardenio is a public benefit corporation built on the pillars of sustainability, public health, and food justice.
Roman is a Brown University philosophy graduate, former community organizer, and current human centered designer hell bent making the gardening experience more accessible, approachable, and fun for the new gardener. Eighty percent of new gardeners are millenials like himself, and he found others like him had a similar difficult experience starting, often giving up on gardening, all for reasons that were completely solvable. Roman spends the little time he has not working on Gardenio to read books about fruit trees, learn about craft cocktails, and advocate for social justice in tech, in the food system, and in the rest of the world.