Business Overview

In 2016, for the first time, Americans spent more money eating out than on groceries. During the same year, we paid more than a staggering 110 billion dollars for food in this country. Whether we are cooking at home or going out to eat, it is clear we love to eat and we are willing to pay for it. Entrepreneurs who are interested in farming can earn a good living by supplying fresh culinary herbs to restaurants, retail stores, and directly to consumers.

Who is this business right for?

Starting an herb farm is a great business for anyone who is interested in farming. One of the great things about herb farming is owners do not need acres and acres of land or even operate their herb farm full-time to be profitable. A small herb farm makes a wonderful part-time business for stay-at-home persons, a retired couple, or even a dedicated high-school student.

What happens during a typical day at an herb farm?

Most herb farmers spend only a couple of hours a day taking care of their herb farm business. Since the majority of herb farms stagger the time they plant their herbs, there is never a lot of planting or harvesting to do at one time. This gives them more time to water, weed, and make sure their herbs are growing well. The majority of an owner's time is spent on packaging herbs, marketing to find new customers, and selling the plants.

What is the target market?

There are three types of customers for herbs: restaurants, retailers, and consumers. Selling directly to consumers is the most profitable, but also provides the least steady income. Retailers typically offer the lowest per pound price, but are often willing to buy out an entire harvest. Restaurants usually offer a better price than a retailer, but less than a consumer.

How does an herb farm make money?

Herb farms make money by selling culinary herbs to wholesalers, restaurants, and consumers.

What is the growth potential for an herb farm?

While herbs currently only make up between two to five percent of produce sales in grocery stores across the country, that number is growing. The public's hunger for fresh and healthy food options has increased the demand for fresh herbs over dried herbs.