Plant a seed, change the world
Welcome to Alfrea!
Our vision here is simple: A healthy world in which all people have access to local, sustainably-grown food.
While our vision may be simple our mission is big: Inspire a worldwide movement toward a sustainable food economy that empowers everyone to grow, harvest, preserve, share and eat locally-grown food.
Why? Because fresh tomatoes and strawberries taste amazing. Gardening saves money, and small-scale farming can be profitable. And eating fresh, locally-grown food improves your health and helps heal the planet. We want to live in a world where everybody has access to sustainably-grown food. We’re hoping you do, too.
We make farming and gardening easy.
The thing is, farming and gardening can be tough. You need land, sometimes you need help, and what if you have a bunch of extra tomatoes at the end of the season? Alfrea is designed to help new and experienced farmers and gardeners meet each of these challenges. We connect you with land even if you live in an apartment or a city, garden services, including: garden designers, farm hands, experts, garden educators, and cooking classes and if that isn't enough we even have an online farmer's market where you can buy or sell fresh foods.
Along the way, we support local farm and garden-related businesses by helping them connect with customers in their community. Our innovative platform allows farm and garden designers, farm and garden builders, landscapers, master gardeners, compost experts and laborers to reach people who need their services. From established businesses to weekend side-hustles, we have room for everyone.
We want to make it possible for everybody to eat locally-grown food, every day
It’s a big crazy dream, sure. But we’re a scrappy bunch. Join us!
Meet the Alfrea team
David is a passionate advocate for building a world we love. Yes, he’s a numbers guy, earned his MBA and all, and yet cares about people and the planet. We should probably tell you all about how he started out as a financial analyst in green energy tech and then worked in financial consulting before joining senior management in a startup. And about how he worked as CFO of a social services agency and as director of operations for one of the largest CPA firms in the US.
One of the things that may make David unique, and has shaped Alfrea, is that he understands that to make change stick it needs to work for all, and that's why Alfrea is helping property management companies distinguish their properties from peers, while providing land to grow for residents and why Alfrea is helping corporations lower their health care costs, by helping employees obtain the bounties from the land and succeed in growing and eating sustainably grown food.
But what you really need to know is that David started Alfrea because his mom and dad have a small farm and needed help maintaining it, and while he's been a lifetime gardener, his own garden is in desperate need of attention, owing to the 80-hour weeks he’s working to get Alfrea up and running.
Rich McArdle, our co-founder.
Growing up he thought he wanted to grow greenhouse tomatoes to sell to restaurants, an idea that turned out to be well ahead of its time.
He did end up in the food business, and for many years he led R&D teams that delivered great products like oatmeal and orange juice directly to consumers instead of the cooks. It's actually fair to say you have likely eaten products Rich helped develop as jointly they represent more than $15 billion in annual sales and all the major grocery products categories. That's a lot of food, and a lot of food experience. Rich understands the food business and the agricultural systems that support it, including raw materials sourcing, manufacturing, product development and most importantly for us, he knows where the food industry is heading.
Yet despite his corporate background, Rich is still that guy that wants to grow tomatoes in his own greenhouse or garden, after all his Ph.D. is in horticulture. So he is happy when he can help people like you “get back to the garden.”
More than a business, Rich believes we will help more people start raising their own food, a movement that over time will have an even bigger impact on human health, food costs and the environment.
Lindsey is a passionate food advocate having assisted Pennsylvania seniors in accessing more than $1.7 million in public benefits, and helped rescue 10 million pounds of food from the waste stream.
Lindsey joined Alfrea because she wants to expand the access to food for individuals who have not been able to connect to it. She loves to grow her own food, but being an urban dweller she understands the difficulty finding the space for her plants to set root, in the meantime she creatively perseveres with an herb planter that isn’t currently doing so well. When she’s not working to help connect people to land food and services, you can find her eating her way through Philadelphia’s best restaurants, reading, hanging out with friends,exploring her creative strengths or more likely, her adorable cat.
Jonathan helps us build communities, design landscapes and plan gardens that fit with corporate or apartment communities.
Above all Jonathan believes we all have the ability to re-imagine our surroundings into new places that will make people better, and tap into unrealized potential to improve every community socially, financially, environmentally, as well as physically.
Jonathan’s professional background is in comprehensive land-use planning, community development, and graphic design. As an independent consultant, his largest community-based project is a for-profit urban gardening initiative in Camden, New Jersey that operates from a demonstration gardening facility called Parkside Learning Garden. He is also a graduate of Pennsylvania State University’s Community and Economic Development Graduate Program and carries a long-standing commitment to urban revitalization related projects.
John joined Alfrea shortly after graduating with a degree in accounting from Stockton University and working for a mid-sized CPA firm. He was our first full time employee.
So what's John doing now? John is quiet, but don’t let that fool you he's really observant, analytical and insightful. From his intuitive space he observes human behavior and he understands people. So now he not only leads everything else that other team members aren't assigned to, including numerous internal initiatives such as managing finance, projects, accounting, investor reporting, HR and operations, but where he really shines is in coaching our co-founder David on things he might miss... and John is really good at it. He is efficient and provides solid insights and sound advice.
Growing up In the the midwest amongst a lot of land and big gardens John has bittersweet memories of being tasked as a child with his sister to tend to four 80 foot rows of beans assigned to each of us to weed, and harvest. Picking bushels of beans with three corner flies buzzing around your head non stop waiting to bite. Almost all his families produce was homegrown, his mother was a canning and freezing expert. After those three corner flies it is astonishing that he has a true passion for gardening.
With all intents of majoring in Horticulture as he began college he switched to business leaving his never ending creative side and garden passions to be his advocation. His career transitioned through corporate training, finance operations, corporate communications, digital marketing and strategy. From information technical services, pharmaceutical to investor finance he then turned to creating a complete digital marketing take to market product offering for a web agency.
Now at Alfrea John rounds out his creativity, passion for gardening, sustainable locavore living and being a crazy foodie with his digital marketing background and could not be happier.
Imagine you're a freshman in college, studying business and marketing, and all of a sudden an ambitious little startup asks you to join their team and take on social media and digital marketing. It's either a dream come true or a bit scary, or maybe both. Anyway, Raheem stepped right into the role and right from the start said "I've got this." And we are happy to have him as part of our team.