Homegrown Business: Callie Giaccone of Lufa Farms

Lufa Farms’ mission is to create a better food system by growing food sustainably on city rooftops and partnering with hundreds of farmers and food makers, to provide customers with fresh, local, responsible food via their online Marketplace. We spoke with Callie Giaccone, their Public Relations Coordinator, to find out more about them.

Lufa Farms

What is your business called and what does it do?

Lufa Farms’ mission is to create a better food system by growing food sustainably on city rooftops and partnering with hundreds of farmers and food makers, to provide customers with fresh, local, responsible food via their online Marketplace. To accomplish this, we built the world’s first commercial rooftop greenhouse in 2011 and three more greenhouses since then (built in 2013, 2017, and 2020). With each new greenhouse, we hold ourselves to an ever-higher standard of sustainability and technical ingenuity growing dozens of vegetables, greens, and herbs hydroponically. All of our greenhouses run following our five principles of responsible agriculture: repurposing existing spaces, recirculating water, conserving energy, reducing waste, and using biocontrols instead of synthetic pesticides. Every week, we assemble 30,000 customized baskets filled with fresh, local, responsible food and deliver them to our network of pick-up points across Quebec, or straight to customers’ doors. As we grow we aim to continue developing an economically and ecologically sustainable model of food production.

What made you want to do this work?

Lufa Farms was started because we wanted to create a better food system.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Every day we work toward creating a better food system by farming on rooftop greenhouses, partnering with local farmers and food makers, and delivering baskets as quickly and efficiently as possible to our growing community of customers, who we call “Lufavores”.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

At the moment we deliver to folks in the city of Montreal and other neighbouring areas in Quebec from Gatineau to Quebec City.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We would only need to convert the rooftops of 19 average-sized shopping centres to grow enough vegetables for all of Montreal. Every new greenhouse we build gets bigger, better, lighter, and cheaper so urban rooftop farms can become a must when building new structures. We also have an online marketplace to deliver the freshest food to our customers, who we call “Lufavores”.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

We have rooftop greenhouses in Ahuntsic, Laval, Anjou, and Ville Saint-Laurent. And we’ve just built our first-ever indoor farm in Ville Saint-Laurent as well.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

How do you participate in sustainable urban agriculture?

The goal of sustainable agriculture is to meet society’s needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own. We’ve tried to create a path to make commercial urban agriculture easier for others as well. The number of businesses operating in our field has significantly increased since our inception in 2011.

Where can we follow you?

Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

All our partners on our online Marketplace! Quebec local farmers and food makers inspire us daily.

 

 

About Demian Vernieri 369 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.