Local Motion: Urban Seed, Inc.

A Magazine
October 1, 2017
Rachel Wenman, Co-Founder + Vice President Co-Chairman | Business Advisory Board + Urban Seed Foundation Jared Krulewitz, Co-Founder + Vice President Marketing Chairman | Urban Seed Foundation

Rachel and Jared have known each other almost as long as they’ve known, and loved, Vegas. When they joined forces with Urban Seed, they instantly saw an opportunity for “growth” both personally and professionally. With a long history of succeeding together and deep roots in the Las Vegas community, they realized they had a chance to fundamentally change our city’s relationship with food. Urban Seed, Inc. doesn’t just plan to revolutionize the way we grow food here in Las Vegas. They’re also planning to save the world. That may sound like a lofty goal for a company that just broke ground in July of 2016, that is, until Rachel and Jared explain the ripple effect their work can have. Urban Seed’s proprietary growing system allows them to grow nutrient-dense produce locally, giving our community access to fresh food. How exactly does this save the world? By using 90% less water than normal farming and reducing our overall carbon footprint, Urban Seed is not only providing produce, they’re providing a solution to a long standing social and environmental issue.

A M A G A Z I N E : How did you first meet? 

BOTH: Hahahaha JARED KRULEWITZ: 5th Grade, Mrs. Boswell’s class at Las Vegas Day School. 

RACHEL WENMAN: I think it was actually at lunchtime on the basketball court, but yes we met many, many years ago. 

At what point did you start working together? 

RW: We started working together consistently at The Palms Hotel & Casino. Together, we conducted and curated some of the top local gatherings in the city throughout our careers. We helped expand new concepts like GBDC and reinvigorated old ones like Ditch Fridays. 

JK: After Palms we divided and conquered. I’ll never forget looking at Rachel and saying, “ we will make magic again soon.” Not too many years later we started our first company together called MRKTengs, along with our other childhood friend Lindsay Beck. 

RW: We helped small businesses have a proactive approach to their marketing strategies and business. 

How have you managed a work friendship over the years? 

JK: I feel that our work relationship has worked because we have so much fun, so many laughs. Even when times are stressful we have always found a way to make work fun. We are both highly motivated and want others to succeed; we feed off that energy. We are extremely unique in the way that we think and how we go through our creative processes. People who have worked with us have always marveled at how well we get along even when we are together for most of the day. 

RW: I feel our bond is stronger than a friendship; we are family. I know it sounds cheesy but we have gone through a lot of ups and downs that have shaped our relationship and we feel it’s made out of marble. A relationship that stands the test of time is something to be proud of.

We intend to become the market leader in the urban agriculture technology industry as we reinvent and revolutionize the way we grow and provide food globally. 

How did Urban Seed get on MRKTengs radar and how did you two ultimately join forces?

RW: We heard of Urban Seed through a mutual friend; our partners were looking to form an urban farming company in Las Vegas. Spending a good amount of our careers in the hospitality industry and working with people like Jolene Mannina for a decade, we were instantly obsessed with the possibilities. 

JK: Urban Seed, then one of our clients, had disruptive urban agriculture technology that they were wanting to launch in Las Vegas. As two native Vegas kids never having access to fresh food, we jumped at the opportunity to help bring this technology to the community we grew up in.

What Exactly is Urban Seed Inc.?

RW: Urban Seed Inc. is a technology company engineering solutions for humanity. USI is currently focused on providing the hospitality industry in Las Vegas with the first hyper local, non-GMO, nutrient dense produce. We intend to become the market leader in the urban agriculture technology industry as we reinvent and revolutionize the way we grow and provide food globally. 

JK: We are a fully integrated company, a significant competitive advantage in the urban farming industry. We have the ability to innovate, create, engineer, and manufacturer in house. It was founded on technology that our partner Keith Bell has been developing over the past decade.

What does locally grown produce mean for the culinary industry as a whole here in Las Vegas, and how does this affect our readers on a personal level? 

JK: Locally grown means sustainable, responsible agriculture for Las Vegas. The ability to provide fresh, nutrientdense produce to the culinary community will change the way they connect with food. 

RW: Local produce can change the face of menus. Having a green square next to your dishes will symbolize hyper local produce. This affects all readers because without a sustainable food system we are not a resilient community. 

JK: There will be a new industry forming in Las Vegas that is agriculture. Urban farming will stimulate the economy with livable wages which will directly affect everyone in our community. Food is a common unity that brings together a community.

Your company seems to be focused on the hospitality industry, how do you plan on reaching the local community? 

RW: Yes, the for profit side of our vision is focused on delivering consistent and quality fresh food to the chef community. That is why we started our non-profit arm Urban Seed Foundation earlier this year, with the goal of creating fresh food access for everyone. Together our powerful alliance allows us to further our impact in each community we enter. 

JK: There are an alarming number of food deserts around the country, especially in Nevada. We created the foundation on the core pillars of fresh food access, nutrition education, and advancing legislature which establishes provisions for urban agriculture. 

BOTH: Vegas saves the world! Where can our readers find out more about your company? 

JK: Yes! We would love to continue to build momentum for urban agriculture and locally grown food. People can cultivate their knowledge by checking out our website urbanseedinc.com and become a locavore by signing up for our newsletter now by emailing info@urbanseedinc.com. What are some things you each credit with your ability to “thrive” personally and professionally? 

RW: Laughing together of course, that is the cure for most. But more than that we work on our relationship, support each other, and of course root for one another. 

JK: Think big! We have surrounded ourselves with dreamers and innovators to keep us thinking large. The larger you dream the more you will thrive. Test your limits on what you think can be accomplished and then go get it!

Portrait photography by Julian Murray