Kids Seed Co. promotes generational sustainability

Thomas Stern and family with Kids Seed Co.
GROWING FAMILY: Thomas Stern, center, says his three children are key participants in a business that sells thousands of seed packets across 22 states. Photo courtesy of Stern

A few summers ago, Laszlo told his parents, Thomas Stern and Laura Gazzano, that he wanted to set up a stand to sell cucumbers in their driveway.

“We didn’t end up with a cucumber stand,” Stern says, “but his entrepreneurial spirit and our love for gardening and seed saving led to the creation of Kids Seed Co.”

Now 8 years old, Lazlo and his two younger sisters, Mina and Csilla, play a central role in the Asheville family business, an online seed store that launched on Thanksgiving 2017.

“As we went through the tests of designing a logo, sourcing packaging and building an online seed catalog, our kids were involved in most decisions,” Stern says.

In its first year of business, Stern says, Kids Seed Co. had just a handful of seed varieties in stock and sold about 1,500 seed packets. In its second year, however, the business has expanded to 50 seed varieties and sold several thousand packets to customers across 22 states.

Involving their children in the business has enabled Stern and Gazzano to teach them basic business principles and the environmental value of producing your own food and flowers.

“The environmental impact of many types of agricultural produce is very high,” Stern says. “We think ‘grow-your-own’ is one great way families can live more sustainably, and the benefits of gardening extend to health, finance and spirit.”

Editor’s note: As part of our monthlong celebration of this region’s commitment to sustainable ways of living and working in community, Xpress is highlighting some of those who are making a difference by taking action on a variety of creative and inspiring initiatives.

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About David Floyd
David Floyd was a reporter for the Mountain Xpress. He previously worked as a general-assignment reporter for the Johnson City Press.

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