Vegetable gardeners with altruistic tendencies now have another option for their growing-and-giving efforts. Instead of just growing fruits and vegetables to donate to a local food pantry or soup kitchen, they can support a larger mission, too.
“Our business exists to help others,” says Dave Mauro, Founder of the Mauro Seed Company located in College Grove, Tenn. “We are thankful for each and every customer because they are the ones who are truly making a difference.”
Vegetable gardeners can join the company’s social mission to eradicate hunger with a simple purchase of seed packets. For every seed packet sold, Mauro Seed gives one away.
Mauro says he deliberately built giving into the company’s business model like TOMS “one for one” mission that gives away a product for every product purchased.
This “grow one, give one” approach means a million pounds of food will be produced this year to help feed the hungry. One of the prime partners in their donation campaign is Foundations for Farming in support of its work to feed the hungry in Africa.
The idea for a seed company came to the Mauro family because they wanted to share their blessings with others. Dave runs the company together with his wife, Valerie, and their three daughters, Anna, Avery and Allie.
“We wanted to make an impact and learned that seed can feed the most people at the furthest distance at the lowest cost year after year,” he explains.
“Seed became the vehicle and we used business to scale our giving abilities.” Because the company sells only non-GMO, heirloom vegetable varieties, the donated seeds can be grown, saved and regrown year after year.
The Tennessean and USA Today Network recently recognized Mauro Seed with a 2016 “Your Town Nashville” Award in the Hunger/Homelessness categories for businesses that give back to the community.
Mauro says his goal is to encourage 40 million vegetable gardeners to join their mission “to empower everyone on the planet to feed themselves.”
Besides being an entrepreneur, Mauro is a gardener, too. “I have Italian in my blood, so we love to grow tomatoes, herbs, onions and peppers,” he says. “We’re relatively new at it, but became hooked when we watched seed produce plants and then food. It’s a miracle.”
Gardeners who’d like to receive a free sample pack of Mauro Seed can sign up for the company newsletter or shop for their favorite heirloom vegetable varieties, from asparagus to zucchini, on the Mauro Seed website.