Ruta Smith

1008 Clements Crest Lane #130. Daniel Island

(843) 701-4573

High school friends Andrew Hare and Matt Daniels launched Vertical Roots in 2016 with the goal of delivering local, hydroponically farmed produce to the Southeast region. Four years later, you’ll find their seven lettuce varieties in over 400 stores.

The company is growing rapidly, but that doesn’t mean they’re straying from their South Carolina roots.

“The grand opening of our office headquarters and new farm off of Clements Ferry [on Daniel Island] was one for the books [this year],” said Hare. “It was awesome to have the Charleston community there to celebrate with us because we couldn’t have reached this incredible milestone without their support.” After donating nearly 300,000 heads of lettuce in 2019, it’s clear the community support goes both ways.

By using soil-free container pods, Vertical Roots is proving that delicious lettuce can be grown indoors 365 days a year. If you’re wondering what we mean by “delicious” lettuce, get out to your local Publix or Teeter and grab a package of VR baby romaine or arugula.

Celebrated by home cooks and restaurant chefs alike, the commitment to quality never stops at Vertical Roots. That coupled with their local-first mentality makes them a nationally recognized brand Charleston is proud to champion. —Parker Milner

Runner Up:
Grow Food Carolina