Arlington, VA

Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

If you’ve dined in D.C. at Jose Andres’ minibar, Johnny Spero’s Reverie, or Robert Wiedmaier’s Marcel’s, chances are you sampled produce grown in Arlington.

It’s no secret that interest in urban farming has skyrocketed in recent years, however Arlington-based Fresh Impact remains the county’s only commercial urban farm.

Tucked in an unassuming strip mall on Lee Highway, with no signage or disclosed address, Fresh Impact is under the radar of most Arlingtonians, but well-known among local chefs, particularly higher-end chefs.

Founded in 2017, the company has grown over 300 different rare herbs, varieties of greens, and edible flowers based on the needs of the local restaurant industry.

“One of the primary reasons we located in Arlington was to be as close to D.C., and our customer base, as possible,” said founder Ryan Pierce.

“Being able to grow indoors, not only is it sustainable but our produce is free from pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides,” Pierce said.

At any given time, employees at Fresh Impact are maintaining between 30 to 40 varieties of produce depending on the season. Despite this, the farm still has room to grow and add more products.

“We’re hoping to sell out completely by the end of 2020, we want to get to where we simply can’t grow anymore,” Pierce said. “When that happens, then we’ll look at opportunities to expand our operations to other facilities and look to provide more local products to other restaurants.”

The company has grown primarily via word of mouth, through recommendations from chefs to other chefs. Everything is harvested and delivered to the restaurants on the same day to maintain maximum freshness.

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