Founder and director of Backyard Jem, Shannon Wright, studied up on how to improve the health and well-being of her family and the environment and created a nutrient-dense lifestyle to make a positive impact on society as a whole. 

What is your company background, how did you start the business?

I’ve always loved growing and helping. After many years of reading, learning, practicing and improving the health and well-being of my family and everything around us, I started the business Backyard Jem in 2016 to help others create, enjoy, thrive in their gardens and also giving value to those through providing quality healthy nutrient-dense foods that are essential to human beings. My grandfather grew food, my parents always grow food, so I guess it’s written into my cellular structure. We only use natural, organic, regenerative methods as we strive to reshape our local food system by responsibly growing food with a massive focus on health which is fundamental to all life. We aim for our products to give you the best health benefits of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, polyflavonoids etc. and any information we learn along the way, we want to share.

What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?

Our amazing Nourish Hit Salad which contains a mix of baby leaf greens with sweet pea shoots, and very colourful, flavourful micro-greens to brighten any meal. We provide a range of quality tasty gourmet products, from our super vibrant flavourful famous carrots, beetroots, baby turnips, radishes, kohlrabi, chard, kale, broccoli, leeks, coriander, herbs, spinach, salad mixes, micro-greens, spring onions, tomatoes, capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, beans, pumpkin, fennel, also at times plums, apples, citrus, flowers, but not limited to these either.

Has there been any recent company news?

We became a finalist in the NZ Artisan Awards and recently provided This NZ Life with nutrient-dense information that was published online.

What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?

We are staying with our current garden space, as we have been expanding for the last 2 years, so now it’s all about streamlining our procedures, getting more yield while still growing the soil and its life. We are looking at opening our own shop in our community of Ngaruawahia. We should like to hire more staff, introduce tours again, and get our produce in more places locally.

Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?

Currently at our farm gate shop, through our veggie boxes, two organic shops in Hamilton – Whole Health and Organic Nation, and Hamilton Farmer’s Market Sundays. We would love to see our products stocked in stores near us in Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Te Rapa.

For more information contact Shannon Wright, or 0272716911.