We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Mimier and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kelly, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Once upon a time I was taking 18 credits in college while working an internship by day, an after-school childcare job, and a server gig in the evening; all while juggling an active social life. My first teaching job paid $28,000 (with a Masters’, and I’m rounding up), so I continued to work in bars and restaurants in the evenings and weekends to get by. Ten years later, my husband and I were working full-time, participating in an intense entrepreneurship incubator program, and working all evenings and weekends on our side-hustle. When we decided to quit our 9-5 jobs and go for full-time self-employment, work-life balance was a top priority. It is a blessing that you can essentially make your own schedule when self-employed. However, it’s easy to blur the lines and let work become a 24/7 focus. Because my business partner is my husband, we’ve worked extra hard to have time boundaries of when we will/won’t be discussing work and conducting work related tasks so we can balance being spouses AND business partners. Outlook calendars help a lot. So far, it’s been absolutely rad, and we attribute that to setting those boundaries from the get-go. Protect your energy!

What should our readers know about your business?
We sell living microgreens to health-conscious home subscribers and the best chefs all along the northern Front Range. We are set apart from other growers because we are soil-free, we refuse to use single-use plastics, and we sell the microveggies in a living state to be harvested when ready for consumption (instead of cutting them and packaging in plastic). Our commitment to eco-conscious, reusable packaging is sometimes more labor intensive than just giving-in to the plastic epidemic (i.e. constantly collecting, transporting, and sanitizing the containers for re-use) but we feel good knowing our growing, packaging, and delivery processes do not contribute any man-made products to landfills. We also use organic growing methods, so we are fertilizer and chemical-free.

We love that we can share the thing that we eat daily for optimum wellness with all of Northern Colorado. The future of vertical farming may involve robots that need oil changes, massive industrial warehouses with hundreds of thousands of dollars of air conditioning bills, and drone doorstep delivery; but we’d like to the world know that if you get to know the local makers and growers in your region, you might find that they share your same values. Eco-friendly processes, a health-promoting product, and human connection are core values of great importance to us personally. Maybe those are important to you, too? I can’t place a face or a name of any national distributor of food items, so I don’t know how they feel about their customers or what is important to them. But I can go to the farmers’ market or follow local entrepreneurs on social media to learn what I have in common with the people who grow, bake, brew, design, or craft the products for sale in Northern Colorado. I might also see them at a high school football game or a concert, too. There are many economic benefits to globalization, but small hyperlocal businesses are a “keystone species” in their communities and they rely exclusively on your support- especially in these trying times. Shop small!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One week? Easy.

-One day in Denver (which will be determined based on the sports schedule- pregame at McGregor Square/Dairy Block/Union Station, catch a Rockies/Broncos/Nuggets/Avs game, and then post-game in LoHi)
-One day out I-70 (stop in Vail for a long stroll along Gore Creek Trail, kayak Lake Dillon, ATV/snowmobile adventures in Breck, point out filming locations of Christmas Vacation movie)
-One day in Boulder County (quick 0.3 mile jaunt to Boulder Falls for photo ops, hike Chataqua, explore the beautiful shops/galleries/happy hour locations/restaurants of downtown of Niwot/Longmont/Boulder)
-One day in Estes Park (golfing with the elk, quick walk and photo ops around the 0.8 mile loop at Lily Lake, don’t forget your timed-entry ticket for Rocky Mountain National Park, and The Shining/Dumb and Dumber reenactments at the Stanley Hotel)
-One day in Fort Collins (yoga at Om Ananda, brunch in/around Old Town, tubing at Poudre River Whitewater Park, stop by Rekaivery for all things local to NoCo, and sunset SUP and brews at Horsetooth)
-One day up the Poudre Canyon (picnic riverside at Mountain Park, hike Big South, whitewater rafting for the brave, moose watching at the continental divide, tell tales of the pine-needle-shaped-ash that fell on the Front Range for weeks in the summer of 2020 while driving past the Cameron Peak burn scar, stop at Mishawaka for riverside fun and hopefully a show)
-One day at Red Rocks Amphitheater (arrive 8 hours early with cooler and miniature propane grill, park on top lot with a view of the rocks in the foreground and downtown Denver in the background, bring folding table and camping chairs for games and a quick grilling sesh before the start of the show, visit the Colorado Music Hall of Fame on site, dance the night away)
-One final chill day in a small town like the one we live in (craft coffee, frisbee golf/driving range/tennis, walking the dogs between craft breweries, and then grab one final bite on the patio of a local restaurant)

We work with so many great restaurants, so we obvously can’t pick any favorites! We’d also check the farmers’ markets schedule and squeeze one or two in along the way. We’d make a point to explain that Rocky Mountain Oysters are not served on the half shell; present our argument that Palisade peaches are more precious than gold, read aloud every single DIA conspiracy theory that the internet has to offer; describe how to climb to safety if caught in a canyon during a flash food; differentiate between mountain lion and bear defense tactics if encountered on the trails, and other Colorado-isms. Our guests can sleep on the plane ride home. ūüôā

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We started our business in Winter of 2019-2020, right before we ever heard the phrase “COVID-19”. As we were continuing to navigate through the murky pandemic waters the following year, we joined an amazing mentorship and business education program called EforAll based in Longmont in the spring of 2021. Our mentors, Dan, Ed, and John, provided us with unique perspectives to all of our queries as we applied what we learned in the accelerator to our specific business. Although the program has ended, these amazing mentors are still supporting us today as we continue to grow. In our experience, nothing springboarded us to success more than the guidance of caring, invested, and experienced mentors. Be honest with yourself about the areas you need improvement in, and seek the wisdom of individuals with success in those domains!

Website: http://forevergreen.farm

Instagram: http://instagram.com/forevergreen.farm

Facebook: https://facebook.com/nocoforevergreenfarm

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