Welcome and congratulations to Adam Theurer and Alex Wander, founders of Lone Oak Organics, the first certified organic hydroponic greenhouse in the St. Louis area - today is the company's official grand opening.
Adam and Alex see themselves as stewards of the environment. They are promoting organic food as a way to get St. Louis eating healthier and more nutritious food. Lone Oak Organics is very conscious of the effects of traditional agriculture on the land and have incorporated environmentally conscientious practices into their business.
Lone Oak currently focuses on growing locally grown organic culinary herbs. They grow peppermint, chives, sage, oregano, savory, arugula, parsley, dill, cilantro and of course, basil. Offering a locally grown, organic alternative eliminates the need for grocers to fly culinary herbs from Southern California.
Hydroponic watering in action.
Like Paul Scheiter of Hedgehog Leatherworks, Adam and Alex graduated in 2008 from St. Louis University's Center for Entrepreneurship at the John Cook School of Business, facing one of the worst years in decades for business major graduates. Adam had a background in agriculture and access to his family’s land. Alex has a background in marketing. They met in the SLU Entrepreneurship Program, and joined forces to start their own company, launching Lone Oak Organics ten months ago.
Adam sees the recession as being a key component to the sucesss of their start up. Building the greenhouse was less expensive than it would have been a few years ago. They were able to purchase equipment secondhand at a discount. The higher cost of gas has actually worked in their favor, driving up the cost of purchasing organic herbs from out of state.
Maintaining a healthy environment is important to both Adam and Alex. They see green business as the place to be, and are ready to position Lone Oak ahead of the local St. Louis market. They plan to eventually be in downtown St. Louis, developing an urban organics center for fresh produce. The stacked hydroponics growing system maximizes the use of space and during the cold winters of St. Louis when the temperature can drop to near zero, the Lone Oak greenhouses are heated with a wood-burning furnace, using a renewable fuel source.
Adam Thuerer and Alex Wander stand amongst the basil, at the Hillsboro based Lone Oak Organics, that supplies locally grown organic culinary herbs to St. Louis.
Adam Thuerer, co-founder and Operational Manager of Lone Oak Organics, changed his shirt, and began harvesting some basil for us to sample.
Alex Wander, co-founder and marketing specialist of Lone Oak Organics, shows us some fresh mint in the Hillsboro greenhouse.
Alex says that although Lone Oak is in start up mode now, the business has the potential to thrive. Alex and Adam are invested in building a strong client base in their community. Lone Oak is actively available to their customers: offering booths at Farmer’s Markets, demonstrations in local supermarkets and building a stockpile of herb-based recipes on their Website.
Adam and Alex are thrilled to be working in sustainable agriculture and providing healthy food for St. Louis. Currently, Lone Oak is looking for additional financing to expand their greenhouses and connect with other growers. They are working on creating streamlined systems to grow their business efficiently, and bring their local market what it wants. Lone Oak is also actively looking for a botany and horticulture consultant. Please contact Alex Wander directly at alex(dot)wander(at)loneoakorganics(dot)com if you are interested in learning more about Lone Oak Organics.
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