Tessa Agrey and Ryan Agrey: Making the World a Better Place

June 6, 2022

What we do- We make indoor gardens and help teach people how to grow there own food all year round. We do not just want to sell gardens, we want to make sure people can have amazing results, grow gardens and have a controlled food source. We want to make sure that growing is as easy and effortless as possible.

Values- We value making the world a better place and want to make sure that every product we put out there serve our customers at the highest level. We do not want to add to the problem but be the solution. We value independence and want to give everyone the option to be independent. That is why we have made our system universal. All parts and supplies are interchangeable and can be purchased from us or any other store. We do not want to force our customers to have to buy from us but choose to buy from us.

Our Mission- We are dedicated to making a difference worldwide. We aim to make food so accessible and affordable for everyone, that it is free.

Tell us about yourself?

Our backgrounds are not what you would expect.

We are siblings and were raised in a small town of Alberta. We grew up in an oil and gas town where most people would graduate then go work in the patch. We do not have a background in business or marketing however we have always been passionate about helping people and making the world a better place.

Ryan always loved building and designing things. he used to play with Knex when he was younger and won north america knextspert competion age 13. He always been passionate about solving problems and building things. He went into gas plant operations where he could solve problems and make processes better. He new he wanted to do more but was not sure ” what more meant” .

Tessa always love outdoors and more adventurous. She was always passionate with environment and helping people. She got a degree in environmental science and participated in various international research project. Through this research Tessa seen a massive problem with the current food production system, large farms, poor farming practices and just our food chain in general.

What made us get into indoor gardening an purse this line of work was a phone call. Ryan was playing minecraft and he started growing food underground away from the zombies. He found a way to automate growing food in a control environment which made him question why we are not doing this in real life. He then start trying to figure out if it was possible.

It was through a phone call that we brain storming and sharing ideas that we discovered that hydroponics was the best solution. We seen the potential it had and how it could solve so many problems. All the pieces came together. We seen a bigger vision, we could use this method to help people grow there own food and solve a lot of problems environmentally and socially. This was the ” more ” ryan was wanting an the solution tessa was searching for.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Your closer to your goal then you think. Keep taking small bite sizes and moving forward. Before you know it you will have eaten the elephant. Learn about NFTs. Nobody knows what they are but they will be worth alot.

What problem does your business solve?

We allow anyone to grow their own food no matter where they live, how much space they have or what experience level they are at.
Typically you are limited to gardening/growing your own food by a number of things like
growing season
poor climate
poor soil
critters and bugs
no backyard
not ideal growing area ( not enough sunlight, rocks, poor drainage)
No green thumb etc..

We make gardening so simple that any one can do it, anywhere. You are no longer limited by these things. Now if you live in an apartment you can have a garden. Short growing season with terrible weather, it does not matter you are growing inside you house all year round.

Now everyone has the option to grow there own food all year round, if they want to. They can have a food source they control and not have to heavily rely on large farms and grocery stores to provided for them.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Our food chain is broken and we have very little control over our food. We rely heavily on imports and have lost touch with our food.

We were inspired because we seen the potential hydroponics had and how many problems it could solve. on a small scale as well as a large scale. It is a method that you can automate growing by creating the perfect environment for plant that they thrive.

At first we wanted to just help people grow there own food all year round. We are from Alberta, we have very long winters and very short summers. Growing a garden is hard and most summers in our small town, the weather is too terrible that your garden dies. We wanted to find a way that anyone and everyone could grow there own food year round.

You could have a reliable food source that would consistently grow you food no matter what.

When looking into hydroponics we found many problems and knew we had to solve them. System where either expensive (Thousands of dollars) or to small (counter top systems) you could not grow enough food to make it worth while. They had plant refills pods or were too complicated.

All they system out there had custom parts and/or expensive refills you had to buy if you wanted to garden. You were stuck buying from only one company and did not have the freedom to build your system to fit your lifestyle.

They had custom lights and light fixtures. That meant if a light bulb burnt, you could not simply change out the bulb but you would have to buy a brand new light fixture with lights.
You could only get light bulbs from that company, so if they are out of stock , stopped making that model or on back ordered you were out of luck and could no longer use that system. All the money you invested into it was essentially wasted.

The expensive refills were pods that included grow media and seeds. You could only get the refills from the company you bought your system from. These refills were expensive and limiting. If they did not carry the type of plant you wanted, you could not grow it. If they were out of stock you could not grow that plant.

If you wanted to build your own DIY it was alot of work and complicated. There was really not options out there.
The problems we were trying to solve was making hydroponics simple, affordable and independent ( get rid of refills, custom parts)

What is your magic sauce?

We focus heavily on results and independence. We want to make sure that everyone that purchases an indoor garden can grow using that garden. We provide courses, live trainings and an amazing community. This way you have an amazing support system that will insure you are successful.

We also made sure that all our systems were simple plug and play. We really wanted to simplify hydroponics so all you needed to do is drop a seed, add water and nutrients and that is it.

We developed a patent cup that gets rid of transplanting. So now you do not need worry about time consuming and hassle of starting your seedlings and having to transplant them into your system. Instead you just have to drop a seed, and it will germinate in the cup and grow there.

This cup design allowed us to remove expensive refills. So now you can use any seed from anywhere. You do not have to only get the seeds from us but can grow any heirloom or exotic seed you want.

We also want to make sure that people that get are system are independent and do not have to only rely on us for parts and supplies. This is why we have made our systems universal.

All important parts and supplies can be purchased at local hydroponic shops, online or from us. There are no custom lights, light fixtures, pumps, hoses. This way you are not solely dependent on us. You never have to worry about us being out of stock or back ordered. You can get supplies from anywhere.
This also means that you can easily upgrade and swap out equipment as technologies change and advance, without having to buy a brand new system. If you want different lights you can get different lights without having to get a brand new system.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We plan on expanding into commercial and do a modular commercial setips with the same principles as our other systems. they will be universal, simple, and expandable.

We are also starting up a program that is heavily focused on building community. We are working on setting up systems in communities and selling fresh produce to restaurants and community members.

This will give people fresher and healthier options. The money that is raised from this will, pay for expenses, then any profit will be donated back into the community. It will go to local clubs, Charities, NGO, foodbanks or what ever programs that community needs.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

We want to make sure that anything we invent solves a problem and does not add to it because of this we had to do things differently.

We made exactly what the customer wants/needs and allow them to be fully independent from us. We wanted to take this path and have more control so we did not get investors to help us.
The most challenging issues we have ran into is raising enough money to bring our ideas and vision to fruitions. We both worked full time jobs while trying to make this happen, we have ran two crowdfunding campaigns to help raise enough funds to make each system and grow our company.

We can not make many mistakes and do not have a large margin to learn.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

If you are wanting to start growing your own food and want the help and support along the way you can go to our website and order your garden today.
www.hopeinnovation.ca

If you are wanting more information about indoor gardening then make sure you subscribe to our newsletter on our website.
www.hopeinnovation.ca

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