Interview with Amber Rochon, Owner & Operator of Le Petit Bloom, Anchorage’s local microgreenery.
What are microgreens?
Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are rich in nutrients. Just like many freshly planted products they provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber essential for health.
What are the health benefits of microgreens?
Microgreens are rich in nutrients and contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Microgreens can be added to sandwiches, salads, or even sauteed into your dinner dishes. My kids eat them by the handfuls and are always begging to go and pick them fresh for a mid-day snack.
How are microgreens different from sprouts?
Many people believe that microgreens and sprouts are the same, but they are not. The major difference between microgreens and sprouts is the medium in which they are grown. Microgreens are planted in soil or on a hydroponic growing pad and are cut off at the soil surface so that we only consume the stems and leaves. They also require a light source essential for growth, unlike sprouts which do not require light. Sprouts only require water and must be rinsed frequently during the growing process, whereas microgreens require soil or growth pad and may not require as much tedious attention. Microgreens also require a high level of ventilation, unlike sprouts. Supplemental heating and cooling is essential for ideal growing of microgreens.
What microgreens do you currently grow? What are you looking to grow in the future?
Currently, we grow broccoli, pea shoots, sunflower, cantaloupe, purple radish, pink radish, and Daikon radish. We also offer a salad mix and when I am able to expand my little microgreenery, I would like to try beets and corn!
Why did you start Le Petit Bloom?
I started Le Petit Bloom with a dear friend of mine and business partner. We had talked about starting a small business together for years and when the opportunity presented itself, we jumped! I have decided to continue the business as the sole owner now and have relocated the microgreenery to South Anchorage.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I have always been inspired to be a small business owner. For me personally, it allows me to “take my kids to work” and avoid having them in daycare. I am able to work those early mornings and late evenings while my children sleep and it gives me the unique ability to be more present in their lives. I also enjoy being my own boss and making my own business decisions.
What have you learned as a small business owner?
I have a long list of things that I have learned during this journey. The biggest lesson I have learned is to chase your dreams, don’t overthink it, just do it.
What are your short-term and long-term business goals?
I recently just achieved my short-term business goal which was to finish my first season at the South Anchorage Farmers Market. After a long season, I plan to take a winter sabbatical to spend more time with my three young children. My long-term business goal is to obtain a larger facility that would give me the ability to grow microgreens year-round as well as grow other vegetables.
Do you teach education classes or DIY classes?
I am teaching my first DIY class: Grow Your Own Microgreens on October 30th 11:00 am-12:30 pm at Bell’s Nursery, 13700 Specking Ave, Anchorage, Alaska. The class costs $45 per person and will include a grow kit for growing your own microgreens at home as well as step-by-step instructions and nutritional information.
For more information and to register for this class, email email@example.com.
How do I place an order? Do you have a website? Delivery/Pick-up?
Like I mentioned above, I will be wrapping up our first season soon and plan to take a winter sabbatical to spend more time with my three children. For any last-minute microgreen needs, you can find me at VegFest on October 23rd! We are excited to be at the South Anchorage Farmers Market next summer, 2022!
For more information please visit our website at www.lepetit-bloom.com.