Reimagining sustainable farms through our own pioneering passion
Strategy | Branding | Public Relations | Business + Executive Visibility Events + Experiential | Retail + Sales Strategies
After 20 years of helping clients in the organic industry, we wanted to make our own mark. Fred Haberman and three partners looked at an abandoned brewery in St. Paul and saw the potential for large-scale, hyper local food production.
In 2014, Haberman branded, helped launch and started telling the story of Urban Organics, an indoor aquaponics farm based on the practice of growing veggies and fish together in a closed loop, fully sustainable system. One of the first USDA-certified organic facilities in the country, Urban Organics not only increased access to healthy food, it also ignited more than $200 million in economic development and hundreds of new jobs in it’s early years.
We took on the global crisis of food deserts while giving our agency first-hand insight into what it takes to launch a company in the good-food space. Our challenge: define a sustainable alternative to traditional agriculture—and launch a movement.
The Urban Organics story has global implications, not only for the project’s entirely-new approach to agriculture but also for its potential to ease the world’s food crisis. It’s also a business story about making profits while doing good things in the world. Armed with so many stories, Haberman generated awareness in both local and national media, for both the category and Urban Organics. Features in Newsweek, Fast Company, and The Guardian, which called Urban Organics one of the 10 most innovative projects from around the world.
With the success of the first location, we launched a second, refurbishing another former brewery site in Saint Paul. This expansion allowed the growing company to meet the demand of local Twin Cities restaurants, select HealthPartners hospitals and clinics, grocery stores, and co-ops for its healthy and hyperlocal produce and fresh fish.
Fred Haberman was invited to participate in a food panel at SXSW to discuss the future of farming and the role of technology. Fred and the panelists discussed the cultural attitudes about technology and its use on today’s farms, considering how science and innovation can make farming sustainable and the food we eat better for people, animals and the planet.
- During its existence, Urban Organics contributed over $200 million in economic development and several hundred jobs have been created in the community surrounding Urban Organics.
- Pentair (NYSE: PNR) acquired Urban Organics in 2017 and expanded to a second facility in St. Paul.