OrganaGardens started as an LLC, where founders Becky Elder and Brian Fritz consistently worked alongside other gardeners who held their own LLCs. “This model is not like a typical business structure, so the founders started researching what other options look like,” said Rachel Ribich, Lead Gardener at OrganaGardens. “Luckily, the State of Colorado educates around employee ownership and cooperative structures, so the founders started moving in that direction.”
The founders recognized that their model, while not a traditional one, worked best for their needs and officially became a worker cooperative in May of 2021 with the support of the Employee Ownership Grant.
For OrganaGardens, a worker cooperative made sense. The opportunity to pool together resources, labor, tools, and skill sets made their operations sustainable and effective. Becoming one entity fostered and streamlined what they could do together - and helped the business grow, specialize their services, and keep up with demand long-term.