Nova Scotia

Hope Blooms as young Halifax entrepreneurs create new products

Hope Blooms is expanding its business to include salads and even salad delivery eventually. The young entrepreneurs will use profits for a scholarship fund and to add fresh greens to school lunches.

New greenhouse is allowing the group to grow vegetables year round

Hope is still blooming for a group of young entrepreneurs who made their name locally and on national television with their salad dressing business.

They are now expanding their product line, using their new greenhouse to grow more of their herbs and vegetables year round. With all their experience in the garden, it seemed logical to get into salads and salad delivery, too.

"We are going to have tomatoes, cucumbers, a lot of different micro-greens and a lot of different types of lettuce in the salad," said Makye Clayton, a Grade 7 student at Oxford Junior High School. 

The planters will be filled with micro-greens, harvested every six weeks. The salads will be bought online and picked up at their Cornwallis Street shop. And eventually, the goal is to deliver door-to-door in the neighbourhood. 

"It's also going to help a lot of people that might not be able to come pick it up and stuff," Clayton said.

All the proceeds will go into the Hope Blooms scholarship fund. And for each salad purchased, another one will be offered to students at a local school for lunch. Hope Blooms wants to convince more kids to try vegetables. 

"They know me. I'm a role model to them. So I'm growing salad dressing and making it, and they know it's from me, and so they're like, okay it's cool I'm going to try it out," member Kolade Boboye said.

They want to keep the salad program going year round, even in the school year. 

 "We've still got after school, and we've got a lot of PD days, so I think as much time as I can help, as much time as I have free time as I have, I will help," Clayton said.

The new greenhouse opened just last month and it's already proving to be fertile ground

Craig Cain, youth leader at Hope Blooms, says he's looking forward to teaching the younger kids what he already knows.

"Cause the kids come up with the most amazing ideas. Their minds are just awesome." 

Saint Mary's MBA students are also helping to design a website where people can order pickup and delivery salads and pay with Paypal.

The salads will cost $6, or $7 if you want to add a helping of Hope Blooms dressing. The first salads could be available for pickup as soon as July. 

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