Looking for a great local Nashville Business?
Leave Nashville heading south on scenic 31 and you’ll come across Gateway village; a community on the southwest corner of Franklin Road and Lynnwood Way. In this unassuming neighborhood there is something amazing going on: Herban Market.
At first glance, the market might look like any other. Yes, they sell food, but their goal is radically different from other grocers. Their focus is on the community’s health; both physically and economically.
We wanted to hear the whole story, so we sat down with the owner, Matt Hogancamp.
So, why did you decide to start Herban Market?
We wanted to create a cleaner market with more transparency. A market that paid the farmers around us – not sending money out of the community. A market where people didn’t have to check every label of every product. Everything has already been vetted.
Clean eating and sourcing food locally is clearly important to you. How did that start?
I was born into an organic family, so I’ve always cared, but in my early 20’s I ventured off the path. I would go home and eat frozen pizzas, but then I would get swollen and feel terrible. I experienced that there was a 100% link between physical, and mental, well-being and what you eat.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from running your business?
Oh, man. I learn something new every day… Get the right team in place. You can’t do everything by yourself. You have to let go of things and let people run with their pieces. You have to place trust in your team.
What is the hardest part of running your business?
Most big grocery chains have 3 big vendors that will pull stuff out of warehouses and take care of the supply chains. With our model, getting things as local as possible, I have 150 people I have to talk to every week. It’s a lot to keep up with.
What is the most rewarding part of running Herban Market?
Transforming people’s lives. Everyone loves great tasting olive oil, but then you can transition into eating more organic produce. You give them a couple weeks and they come back saying “I have more energy. I feel better.”
We also have an impact on the community we live in. This is an economic model that pumps money back into the community. It’s money given to local farmers, instead of being spent on shipping food from across the world.
You can eat local, and you can eat really well. Especially in Nashville, and we want people to know that.
If it wasn’t for the paycheck, what would you be doing?
This. No question. It’s very, very hard – a lot more work that what people see. But this.
We’ve got great customers. We really do. It’s unique people. People who are into health and what nutrition means to them physically and mentally. Or what sourcing food locally means for the environment. Some people get it. Some people are on their way to getting it. It’s so satisfying to be a part of.
Since we work with finances, we have to ask — What was the best piece of financial advice you’ve ever received?
Take risks while you’re young. Of course, it needs to be a calculated risk, but if you have an idea — try it. You can always find ways to change the idea or find an exit.
Caring about people. Caring about the economy. Caring about the environment. Three reasons why we think Herban Market is a gem of Nashville. Want to #GetMore on Herban Market? Check out their website or social media profiles.
Know of another business that makes Nashville better? We’d love to meet them! Let us know in the comments below, or by tweeting us (@Kasasa) using the hashtag #GetMore.