Turn from an architect to a farmer and develop a thriving business that produces cooking herbs, edible flowers and microgreens.

When Antonio Hall left his architectural career in 2016 and was “testing his hands” in agriculture, he was nicknamed “Crazy Farmer.” Still, diligence, determination, and passion for the soil allowed his business, Green Leaf Farms (GLF), to grow from an idea to a thriving company.

GLF grows herbs, edible flowers and microgreens. The hall’s main customers are New Providence and Family Islands private chefs, yacht provisioners, restaurants and hotels. This includes Atlantis, Island House and Abaco Club in Winding Bay.

The boutique farm also offers edible landscape design services. The architectural background of the hall features him uniquely to design a private garden layout that allows people to grow fruits and vegetables in the backyard.

“Many people still can’t handle the fact that I left architecture to pursue agriculture, but they can’t understand,” Hall said. “I’m very good at architecture and I love it, but my passion is always soil. That’s my call and that’s why I decided to leap my faith and pursue it. . “

He said his career change was probably the most horrifying decision in his life.

“When I first left architecture, I had only a few clients, but now my business is doing well. I want to make waves in the industry and slowly and steadily transform the country’s agriculture. We are working on several strong partnerships with. “

According to Hall, Bahama’s average farm occupies about 2.5 acres, which is more than 100,000 square feet, while GLF is only 6,600 square feet. For this reason, Hall strategically chose to specialize in cooking herbs.

“The work I do is a combination of old school and modern farming, a style of farming that can make a profit on a small land. All I do is soil based, so even hydroponics It’s not aquaponics either. “

Hall learned about Access Accelerator after studying how to grow his business. He applied because the program helped young entrepreneurs “get a stronger foothold in growing their business.”

He describes the Access Accelerator class as “seamless, informative, and targeted.” He also said that the knowledge and experience gained from the various courses allowed him to “move the business forward and increase profitability.”

“At the end of the program, I received $ 90,000 worth of funding from Access Accelerator. With that money, I was able to plan, build, and build a post-harvest building on my site. I no longer have to fight to put my farm products in the retail store because it allows me to wash and process everything that grows on the farm. Now I’m a grocery store. Cooler from the field. You can go straight to, and then from the cooler to the client. With Access Accelerator, you were able to cut out the middle ground. “

Access Accelerator helped Hall expand its business, but the unpredictability of the agricultural industry poses another set of challenges for young farmers.

“We sell a lot of produce to the hotel and yacht industry, which means we are still tied to tourism. It can sometimes be frustrating because there are many declines and trends in the sector. Therefore, when the industry is down, we are down. “

Even when the tourism industry is booming, he said that chef changes can sometimes affect a customer’s regular orders.

“It’s not stable when dealing with these industries, because in a blink of an eye they can change their minds about what they want to buy. Overcoming this challenge is still an ongoing task. However, there are some things I’m actively working on to avoid this problem. “

Looking to the future, Hall said he wants GLF to expand its business and add more farmland. He also wants Bahamian experts to take GLF to the next level by withdrawing from the farm’s day-to-day operations.

“My ultimate goal is to be famous in this country. And without the help of Access Accelerator, I wouldn’t have been able to make the current progress. The cost of building the building I built was 70,000. It was close to the dollar. Thanks to my growing product, it would have been okay to make that amount and invest in one structure without the help of Access Accelerator. It might not have been impossible. No, but I would never have done it in a short period of time. Access Accelerator gave me a big jump start. “ Turn from an architect to a farmer and develop a thriving business that produces cooking herbs, edible flowers and microgreens.

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