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Ocado Launch

A belated Happy New Year to you and Happy Birthday to us! 3 years ago, we launched with a few crops in an empty tunnel getting us referenced to Breaking Bad on more than a few occasions! Today marks another milestone for Growing Underground as we launch into Ocado READ MORE

Michel hosts Saturday Kitchen

Michel Roux Jr, one of our board of directors, took a break from the kitchens of Le Gavroche this morning to do a fantastic job hosting Saturday Kitchen who we have also supplied microgreens to! He cooked up a storm with fellow chefs, Bryn Williams and Claus Meyer READ MORE

Michel Roux Jr drops in!

Whilst filming next door at Catcus Studios for Saturday Kitchen, Michel Roux Jr dropped in to the farm for a catch up! It’s always a pleasure to have this supercool super chef dude and all round nice guy drop in! (And he’s also one of our Board of Directors of course!)READ MORE

The Standard: Michel Roux Jr

We’re loving this article on Michel Roux Jr on this love of our underground farm, women in kitchens and his new to series The Diner! It it his ‘love of produce that motivated Roux to get involved in another of his most recent projects: an underground urban farm in Clapham READ MORE

World 1st Subterranean Farm

In glorious sunshine, the press launch of the GU farm took off this morning with a 6am start at the tunnel. Michel Roux Jr did a live interview with Sky News and he was nothing less than a pro as usual! Shortly followed reporters from Al Jazeera News, The Evening Standard, CNBC,READ MORE

GU Farm Launch

You may have noticed we’ve been a bit quiet of late in terms of the farm. Well, that’s because we’ve been just a little bit preoccupied with finalising the build of Phase One! Today we’re thrilled to officially reveal the completed streamlined farm, lush with microgreens.READ MORE

1st Quarterly Board Meeting

This week saw our first quarterly board meeting, it was great to catch up with the board all in one place too; Neil Sanderson MD at Florette, Ed Gillespie from Futerra, Michel Roux Jr and Chris Nelson our Horticultural Tech Consultant.
A lot of sweat went into preparing for it but it allREAD MORE

Weekend Kitchen Waitrose

Did you see our faces and our tunnel on Weekend Kitchen this Saturday? The crew came down to the Growing Underground farm along with our very own Michel Roux Jr! Here’s a snippet and you can also catch the full programme on 4oD 🙂 READ MORE

Stop thief! ;)

After a bit of a wet bank hol weekend we had an early start this morning for interviews with various members of the press. Along with us down at the tunnel along was Michel Roux Jr who made off with one of our GU mugs 😉

Shiny new blog!

Hello all! Firstly apologies for the delay in blog updates lately – as a result this one will be slightly extended (so further apologies for that!) So what have you been doing we hear you ask? You may already be aware if you have been following us on Facebook and Twitter but if not, well, life has continued to be pretty hectic since the launch of Growing Underground back in January. More press and publicity than we could ever have imagined has ensued thanks to our PR guys 1238, our Crowdcube fundraising campaign kicked off and we went viral. With the help of our intern, Jordan, we kept the farm looking good and have had as much interest internationally as from the UK – six months later it continues still!

Our beardy and baldy selves have managed to speak coherently in interviews but not quite to the same slick level as ‘One Take’ Michel Roux Jr! Highlights have included being on various news channels such as BBC, ITV, ABC (US), ABC (Australia), CBS, NPR and ARD to name but a few. Press coverage consisted of all the main UK newspapers; The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Mail, The Metro, Time Out, This is Money etc. to our old local The Bristol Post and as far and wide as The Times of Mumbai! We also had an MSN feature on us, were listed on Yahoo’s ‘Top Secret Spots’, The Telegraph’s ‘Most Watched this Week’ and got to no.1 on Viralnova’s most ‘Totally Brilliant’ use of a Rundown Building!

The following months brought a successful investor Meet and Greet event and we were thrilled to be told that our pitch had received the most views in the history of Crowdcube! Then after being invited to do a talk at Shoreditch House for further potential investors, April showered us with being chosen by National Geographic as part of a special series ‘The Future of Food’ and we got a mention on Newsnight. May brought us an invite to The Restaurant Leaders Summit in Cannes, presenting to future customers as one of the first food suppliers ever at the annual event! Of course this was an absolute honour but also a tad scary – luckily we delivered a successful presentation with great feedback (and all without stuttering, total mind blank or soiling ourselves! :))

There are many other interviews we could mention such as one that involved a photo shoot of lettuce being repeatedly thrown in our faces?! We’re assuming this was some kind of artistic angle and that we are not featured on a DVD labeled ‘Lettuce Fetish’ in a Soho basement somewhere!

Alongside all of this of course we continued to work on the farm and were booked up meeting investors so it’s been pretty full on! Now, even though our Crowdcube campaign has finished, our conversations with external investors continue, this ranges from HNWI, Venture Capital, Banks and Corporate Investors. We have received an offer of assistance to aide the growth of the ‘Growing Underground’ brand from one of the largest growers in the UK and Europe.

We have also finalised an agreement with County Supplies London who will be our New Covent Garden Market distribution partner and with whom we did a stand with at this month’s London Produce Show. Supplying thousands of sites in the London area they will take the majority of produce from the first phases of our expansion which will provide much needed revenue at the early stage of our business. So things continue to be hectic but exciting as we get down to the nitty gritty of expanding the farm, it’s all hands on deck! We hope this has filled you in on with what’s going down with Growing Underground so far….there is light at the end of the tunnel…!

Crowdcube film pitch

We have now put together our Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign, complete with a short film explaining the concept. On filming day it was an early start for everyone involved and there was an excitement in the air. Annoyingly Michel Roux Jr got his lines spot-on first time, whilst myself and Steve seemed to struggle to speak English!

The film was shot by James Moriarty who not only has a cool name but is an exceptional DOP. He had also accompanied me towards the end of the summer on several cutaway shoots for the film, both within London and further afield.

Take a look at the finished product http://growing-underground.com/#video

Producer: (myself) Richard Ballard/ DOP: James Moriarty/ Director: Adam Williams/ Editor: Theresa Logun/ Storyboard Artist: Jerina Jagdeo

Film Storyboard (and Michel Roux Jr!)

The business is snowballing – in a good way! We are engaging some high profile interest, continue to work hard down on the farm and on our business plan. We are now thrilled to say that in the last few weeks we have managed to bring one of the best chefs in the country, Michel Roux Jr, on board as a non-executive director which we are really excited about! 🙂

We have also started to put together our Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign which will involve a film pitch. Here’s our storyboard for the film as illustrated by the very talented Jerina Jagdeo. She has even got the variety of everyone’s facial hair spot on! We aim to keep to the initial script and storyboard with maybe very slight diversification if need be on filming day.