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Conversations with Shannon O’Malley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon O’Malley.

Hi Shannon, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My husband Brad and I took up hydroponic farming in our garage because we just weren’t able to grow veggies naturally in the Florida soil. It was supposed to be just a home project, but then it became so much more. Because of the success of our home project, we decided to turn it into a full-time business. We purchased an old junkyard, cleared it off, and started with three hydroponic vertical farm containers. In a two to three-year period, we became the go-to spot for individuals, restaurants, hotels and resorts in the Tampa Bay area for fresh leafy greens. Quickly after that, we had to move into a larger facility and we started manufacturing our own farm containers. Once we made the move into manufacturing, we were able to build additional containers to keep up with customer demands and allow for additional customers. In March 2020, we began working with Publix grocery stores (the largest grocer in the Southeast Region of the United States). In just nine months, we ramped from a couple Publix stores to 272 with four different product lines. Brick Street Farms now has over 25 team members and 17 farm containers and we are GROWING!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Building a start-up business is never smooth but always interesting. Our main struggle started in March 2020 when COVID hit and all restaurants, hotels and resorts were basically shut down. However, we got very lucky because that is when our Publix business started to ramp. We were able to keep our team members which was most important to us! Now that restaurants are starting to open more we have successfully gained back most of the customers that we had prior to COVID.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
I love all things Urban Agriculture and Agtech- whether podcasts, blogs or books. As the only female Co-Founder and CEO in the indoor farm container business, it is imperative that I look to other great women leaders for advice.

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