410: From Office Space Mushrooms to a Gardening Revolution with the Cofounders of Back to the Roots


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Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez started Back to the Roots by asking the same question in their business class–how can you grow mushrooms from used coffee grounds? So instead of taking their jobs in investment baking, the 2 friends began their journey of building an organic gardening brand for the next generation.

Back to the Roots is America’s #1 organic gardening company and doubled its business 4 years in a row. They offer a wide range of grow kits, seeds, soil, and more to empower people to experience the magic of growing their food from inside their homes.

Listen to Nathan chat with Nikhil and Alejandro about:

  • Walking into a Whole Foods and pitching their first product
  • Growing their first mushrooms in a rented office space
  • Hitting their first million in revenue off sources of waste
  • Why going to a farmer’s market is the best lesson for business
  • Transitioning from selling products to empowering growers
  • Navigating the accelerated growth of the industry during COVID-19
  • Their relationship as cofounders over the past decade
  • Working with retailers like Home Depot, Target, and Walmart
  • Their “Grow One, Give One” initiative
  • And much more business scaling advice…

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