We recently interviewed Melissa Monahan of SuperNatural Sprouts, one of our newest vendors!
Prescott Farmers Market: How long you have lived in Arizona?
Melissa: I have lived in Arizona for 20 years. I only started growing microgreens in June of this crazy, 2020.
What kind of products do you sell at your booth?
I offer a variety of organic microgreens grown right here in Prescott.
How did you start SuperNatural Sprouts?
It’s amazing to me that if at this time last year, you asked me what I’d be doing now, I would not have not known how this could/would be part of my destiny! Many factors have brought me to where I am today, but suffice it to say that an empty nest, Covid and dare I say, YouTube played the biggest roles. With my youngest getting married and moving out, and Covid hitting our land, I felt I needed to have a way to grow my own food, give back to the community and as it turns out, utilize a now, empty bedroom! Due to Covid, my other job prospects as a web and graphic designer definitely declined, so I had ample time to explore other opportunities (via Youtube, i.e., YouTube University where you can learn ANYTHING!). After about a month of digesting everything I could around growing microgreens and joining a number of Facebook support groups, I knew I could make this work! Having web and graphic design skills most definitely fueled my ability to move quickly too!
How long have you been a vendor at PFM?
I’ve been a PFM vendor 3 months and began as a Community Booth vendor.
What is your top selling product?
Sunflower microgreens are a very consistent favorite!
How would you describe one of your products to someone who has never tried it before?
Microgreens are considered one of the best living superfoods available today! They all have different nutritional profiles, but at the end of the day, the nutrition in all microgreens is unmatched! More specifically, however, they’re seedlings at the cotyledon stage, which usually occurs between 8-14 days. At this stage, leaves begin to appear and the plants are at their most flavorful and most nutritional best. In fact, microgreens can contain 40 times as many vital nutrients compared to fully mature produce!! They also have more intense flavor than sprouts, baby greens, or mature vegetables due to their high concentration of nutrients. So, not only are microgreens healthier, but they taste better too!
How do your products differ from store-bought products?
FRESHNESS! I harvest live at the market, direct to the consumer! It doesn’t get any fresher than that!
A CUT ABOVE! My aim is to grow and supply a healthy, pristine, organic product that everyone, from kids, to adults, to chefs, and everyone in between, loves! I strive for microgreens that not only taste delicious, but are the freshest, and most nutritious microgreens available today!
FREE DELIVERY! When you can’t get to the market, I offer free delivery to the greater Prescott and Prescott Valley area, thereby ensuring you’ll always have fresh and healthy greens throughout the winter or anytime, for that matter!
What is special about your business?
See above, but also, when you buy local, you support a small local business! Unlike an impersonal company who mass produce for a large demographic, SuperNatural Sprouts is grown locally, right here in Prescott, exclusively for our community! As I continue to grow, I will always strive to provide added value such as microgreen recipes, tips, nutritional facts and maybe even some other products as well! Stay tuned!
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future include continuing to learn, grow, and expand my business! Growing microgreens has definitely become a full-time passion and being able to offer living green superfoods to friends and family and the greater community is such a delicious and tangible way to assist others in meeting their nutritional goals! That’s important to me and I know, others as well!
Next year, I intend to grow additional varieties beyond my staple 4: Sunflower, Radish, Pea Shoots and Wheatgrass. Varieties such as cilantro, broccoli, and amaranth, while more expensive, offer exceptional nutritional benefits and unique flavor profiles that are hard to find otherwise!
Why is supporting local agriculture and business important to you?
Supporting local agriculture and business has always been important to me; however, I know that in today’s uncertain times, it’s more important than ever! When we make an effort to buy local, regardless of what we buy, we provide small businesses the opportunity to stay alive and thrive!
What is your favorite market memory?
More than anything, I love that I’m getting to know my customers and can’t say enough how I appreciate having many who have become regular, weekly customers!
What is your favorite product to buy from another PFM vendor?
Because being a vendor at the market has been so busy and successful, I’ve actually had little opportunity to visit other booths. I do, however, love that I can buy raw milk and fresh eggs at the market! I’ve also loved the beautiful flowers, homemade breads, soaps and lotions too!
Do you vend at any other markets?
I currently only vend at PFM on Saturdays. I will vend at the two PFM Wednesdays in downtown Prescott before the upcoming holidays. How great is it going to be to have microgreens for Thanksgiving and Christmas?!
Do you have a final message to our PFM customers?
I’ve had really good success and if I’ve learned anything so far, it’s to never say never, to keep hope alive and to be open to new opportunities as they present themselves! My passion for organic living fueled my desire, however, because I tapped into and envisioned the possibilities, I now have a thriving business that provides others with an opportunity to eat healthier and maybe even live longer too! Such an incredible blessing and a win-win too! I hope to serve our community in this new role for many years to come!
How can we find you on social media?
Visit my website and make sure to follow me on Facebook. Sign up for the upcoming SuperNatural Sprouts newsletter too!
Author’s note- my two cats absolutely LOVE Wheatgrass from SuperNatural Sprouts. Next time you see Melissa, ask her which microgreens your pet might like. I’ve heard her give recommendations for dogs, turtles, bearded dragons, and others.