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This All Started With Pesto
Posted June 17, 2024, 4:08 pm

Founder Mathew Howe shares his Grobrix journey.

When I started the journey

It all began with pesto. Back when my girls only wanted green pasta for lunch, I had to make pesto, and that meant having fresh basil. But the supermarket basil wasn’t cutting it—neither fresh nor fragrant. Still, I was just happy the girls were eating something green. The trouble started when the local supermarkets kept running out, and I had to hop from store to store in search of a pack of fresh herbs. That’s when I decided to grow my own basil.

How it has changed my lifestyle

In 2020, I started getting interested in hydroponics. These happy moments involving food with friends and family left me with a deep interest in produce and agriculture. The farmers and producers, their stories, their purpose, their passion – I wanted to be a part of their world.

My world back then was different. I was part of a big machine. And while it had its benefits, I realized I wanted to explore new ideas and take more charge of my work. I was on the lookout for something different. And so, I decided to draw a line under a fifteen year career in financial markets.

The farm wall concept presented itself as an opportunity to break free and explore myself. I believed in a future where people had a closer relationship with their food, and urban farming is enjoyed by all as a lifestyle endeavour. With this vision in mind, I believed I could design something useful that would empower people to realize this kind of future.

I began laying down designs to blend modular furniture aesthetics with simple modern farming techniques. Leveraging a creative itch and recalling forgotten knowledge from an engineering education, the idea was taken from concept to product to market.

In July 2021, the Grobrix modular edible green wall was born.

How we grew our movement

One of the most crucial things about building a business is surrounding yourself with people who support and share the same vision. I was lucky to have found this along the way. With their help, I was able to refine the product and define a business model. We initially weren’t sure how big the market was. So to start, we just planned to serve homes in Sentosa.

But soon, companies wanted in, from hotels to big corporations. Turns out, more people believed in having a closer relationship with nature and their food. More people wanted to be part of a more sustainable, healthier lifestyle.

Why Seed Change?

Seeing that others share my hope for making an impact, even if it’s just one person, is precisely what Grobrix is all about. Grobrix is not just a green wall. It’s a conversation, a movement—an invitation to take part.

Because little acts matter. Whether it’s choosing to use a tote bag instead of plastic bags, reducing meat intake, or dedicating at least one hour a week to becoming an urban farmer, it matters. These actions, when multiplied by more people, will make a difference.

Ultimately, that’s what it means to Seed Change.

Want to take part in urban farming? Join the movement.

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