Going green turns economically profitable for small business
1868 Majestic Rd. Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
800-753-9333 | Visit Website
One of the main reasons Puja and her husband Udgar started Growing Spaces 20 years ago was to support others who want to live sustainable, healthy lives. The company's innovative growing domes demonstrate a solar self-sufficiency that keeps fresh food on the table, even within the challenge of environmental and economic changes.
Their Growing Dome greenhouses handle wind and weather and sustain themselves with only five hours of sun a day. They hold a carefully crafted Eco-system inside one of the strongest structures in the world. The synergy of components in their greenhouse makes it possible to have a year round indoor garden.
Puja and Udgar began their company in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado, but in 1995 decided to move their business to Pagosa Springs. Since that time, they have not only installed 80 domes in Archuleta County, but have expanded their business to 48 states and 13 countries. One of the reasons for their recent explosion of growth was due to the training classes and mentoring services provided by the Archuleta Economic Development Association (AEDA).
"AEDA has been a huge help to us in learning how to track, measure and plan for all our developments. We took Marketing for Smarties, as well as the Leading Edge Class on building a business plan. The process showed us our weak areas and helped us with costing and measuring our decisions. Our finished plan became an invaluable template for many different projects," said Puja.
"We also use the counseling attention and suggestions provided by Small Business Development Center Director Joe Keck, AEDA Executive Director Bart Mitchell, and Business Advisory Group Member John Skolund when EVER we have business questions or a problem to address. Their referrals and experience and recommendations are an invaluable part of our natural flow. They have always responded almost immediately to point to help or a direction where we can research what we need."
Their next stage of business is to expand their focus from the "back yard gardener" to offering their Growing Domes as the center piece for community projects around the world. They plan on offering instruction in local food sustainability and to empower many segments of the population in the skills needed for growing a green business as well as enhancing and sustaining their local food production.
In fact, they are developing a Geothermal-heated Growing Dome for the Pagosa Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership, as well as finding a sister city in a northern country who would like to duplicate this effort where there is less sun and therefore less passive-solar potential.
"We are also refining our sales program to up-level Sales Associates in this focus and offer more training for staff and installers as we grow. Our hope is to double our business in the next few years and to increase our capacity for production and training," Puja explains.
Other new projects include a new office near Colorado Dream Homes, which provides conference and classroom space as well as a place for new inventory control and web-work. At their shop on 1868 Majestic Drive, they are building a recreation area for breaks and setting up an outdoor lunch area as well as providing a home-cooked staff lunch on Wednesdays. They also hope to have a dome grown green diet club for staff members who wish to increase their health.
Growing Spaces also just launched a new Cold Frame called "Junior" for those who can't affor