By David Durrett – a current intern at GreenStar Food Co+op, David Durrett is a lifelong resident of Ithaca as well as a graduate of Ithaca College. He is a freelance reporter whose work has also appeared in Tompkins Weekly and The Ithaca Voice, among other publications. 

Artemis’ Grove LLC, a business run by Davide Nardi, aims to sell healthy microgreens to customers and eventually grow its business.

Davide is from Italy and came to America to study design, graduating in 1999 and going to work for the fashion industry. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he found that the only available jobs in his industry would require him to leave Ithaca and did not want to move. This inspired him to make a career change out of his passion for nutrition and food, leading to him founding Artemis Grove, LLC.

Artemis’ Grove LLC sells legumes, microgreens and black garlic, among other products, such as vinegar. According to Davide, microgreens, which are baby plants that are harvested before they put out their leaves, are very high in nutritional value, making them good health supplements.

“My product is a highly nutritional product,” Davide said. “You can use it in salad, you can cook it, you can blend it in your smoothies, and for less weight, you’re going to get much, much higher, 40 to 100 times the nutritional value that you would get from the grown-up plant.”

Davide has been selling microgreens and sprouts at GreenStar since November 2021. He brought samples of his products to the store, which started with a small order and slowly increased how many of his products they offered to sell to their customers.

“They are great,” Davide said. “Andrew (GreenStar’s Produce Manager) has been a godsend, I love the organization, and I love the Ithaca co-op. I like what they do and I think it’s very important for every community to have this type of outlet, something that is not corporate and provides very high-quality food from the community for the community.

Davide buys many things that he needs at GreenStar, such as produce, meat and beer. Among the things that he buys are low-sugar sweets and other healthy foods.

“I’m very careful with what I put in my body,” Davide said, “and so it’s very important for me to have somebody like GreenStar to offer very healthy alternatives.”

Apart from GreenStar, Davide sells to other grocery stores and restaurants, such as the Boatyard Grill and Mahogany Grill. He started off with restaurants, and says that expanding into supermarkets has changed how he does business, since supermarkets buy more of his products at once.

Artemis Grove Microgreens

Davide’s restaurant accounts, which he estimates comprise 35% of his income, have been hit hard by the pandemic, since fewer people are willing to go out and eat. As such, he hopes that when COVID is more under control, his income from restaurant accounts will become more reliable.

“Restaurants are suffering and therefore everybody who provides for the restaurants are suffering, too,” Davide said.

Davide is in the process of building a website for Artemis’ Grove LLC, but it is not yet ready as of the time of this writing.

Davide is also looking to expand into imports so he can have high-quality products from Italy to offer clients, and is in the process of importing high-level rice, vinegar and olive oil. here is much he needs to do before he is ready to expand; he will need to drive to New York City to pick up the imports.

“I’m looking for a truck, I’m looking for a person, I’m looking for more clients, especially,” Davide said.

Part of the reason why Davide hopes to growth is business is so he can sell his produce at more affordable prices, as well as start a program to provide surplus produce to low-income families for free or at a low price.

“I wish everybody to eat well and to have a happy life, honestly,” Davide said.