How minigrow's Founder Combined Healthy + Fashionable


This post was done in partnership with minigrow. 

We're all about food that 'grams just as good as it tastes! That's exactly what you'll find when you visit minigrow. We interviewed the founder of minigrow, Justin Rosenberg, on his experience with starting his entrepreneurial journey within the food industry. Justin had a specific vision for what he wanted in his restaurants; he wanted to stand out from the crowd without compromising the quality of the ingredients in his food, resulting in the delicious and fashionable bowls you can find at minigrow. We're so excited to have minigrow cater lunch for all GA and VIP ticket holders at SIMPLY NYC!

Read on to find out what inspired Justin to create minigrow!


SIMPLY: Tell us about how you founded honeygrow and what that experience was like? 

I founded honeygrow because I was tired of sitting in a cubicle and working on things that didn't really excite me—I couldn't care less about spreadsheets anymore. I was a new adopter of a plant-based diet and as someone who grew up in NY who always loved food, I wanted to spend my life building a company that really focused on my passions. I also wanted to create something more than just another salad place or grain bowl concept, but something that I could scale into an enduring organization.

I worked in a restaurant in the Washington DC area to learn the business, created the concept and name, wrote a business plan, found investors, designed the store, made the menu, and ran our first location in Center City, Philadelphia. The experience was insanely tough, but I couldn't imagine having to go backwards, so I made it work. Ultimately, it was one of the most creative periods of my life, which I'll always appreciate.

Why did you decide to expand with minigrow?

We have a lot of ideas and quite frankly, I didn't want to rock the boat at honeygrow. honeygrow works beautifully and adding more menu complexity would only create headaches. I was also looking to do something that would simplify the honeygrow model for urban areas, which often are tough to build because of space issues, venting issues, and throughput challenges. Enter minigrow.


What’s your secret for entrepreneurial success?

No real secrets that haven't been expressed by people that I truly admire in the world: create a strong vision for the brand, build an amazing team that breathes and can execute the vision, and don't let distractions deviate from accomplishing what you need to execute. 

Ask a lot of questions, build and upgrade your team relentlessly, and ultimately serve as a role model for them. Be ready to get your hands dirty at anytime.

Tell us a little bit about what minigrow serves and what our SIMPLY NYC attendees can look forward to!

minigrow serves wholesome foods through a foundation of freshly made noodles, organic greens, and variously prepped vegetables and proteins. We're tired of "grain bowls" and see our menu as a distinctive alternative to what's already been in the city, since well, forever. 

Items like dashi-poached salmon, sesame cucumbers, and miso-buttered corn are incredible on a bed of freshly made spinach noodles or spiralized zucchini noodles. It's a simple, clean menu that we're really proud of.

What advice do you have for creating healthy food that also looks and tastes delicious?

Spend time learning how to do it, taste as much food as possible, and keep it simple! There's really no need for complexity as long as you can have as much flavor and color as possible.