2018-2023: What is Planted Detroit?

5 years ago I started Planted Detroit with the belief I could have a positive impact on many peoples lives.  We built a world class facility in Detroit, the best farm in Michigan. Unfortunately, I have had to shut the farm down twice.  In fact, my company has had a profound negative affect on many peoples lives, straining them physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially.  For this I am truly sorry and it hurts to reflect on it. This was NEVER my intent.

As a start up, in a volatile industry, making mistakes and learning from them is part of the growth process.  I have made many mistakes, but one in particular has crippled Planted Detroit.  Four years ago, right before the global pandemic reaped havoc on the world and in particular, our food system, I contracted an automotive company to build an automated growing system.  We were to rely on this system to prove profitability and large scale success.  Instead, we spent 3 years putting bandaids on the situation:  Building alternative grow systems, software, hiring more people than originally anticipated.  We turned into an unscalable, unprofitable, 100% vertically integrated farm which distracted us from our core competency of farming and striving towards my vision of a salad on every table.

As we look forward to 2024, I am thankful for new partnerships that have breathed life back into Planted Detroit and will allow us to focus on FARMING.  We have Lipari Foods sourcing our salad ingredients, JLM Manufacturing assembling and packing our salads, multiple amazing food companies distributing our product, including, but not limited to, Carmela Foods, Lipari Foods, La Grasso Produce and Frog Holler.  Last but certainly not least we have partnered with FULFLLD to seamlessly deliver salads to your doorstep weekly (which is also the delivery partner of salad company Sweetgreen).  I am thankful for the employees we have been able to hire back and the team that has remained diligent on improving yields, streamlining operations, and identifying efficiencies throughout the rollercoaster of the last several months.  I am thankful for the customers, former employees, local businesses, and community members that have expressed their love for Planted Detroit.  

The future is not certain for Planted Detroit or vertical farming as an industry, but I am confident that its necessity to the world remains CERTAIN.  My hope in reflecting on past mistakes is to not drown myself in the negativity and regrets, but remain diligent and continue to find ways to provide these fresh, nutritious, and flavorful products to the world!

Thank you for your support and Happy New Year!

Tom Adamczyk
Founder and CEO

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