Just outside a soon-to-open Delray Beach eatery, Purgreens, you’ll find “aeroponic towers” suspended from the ceiling growing veggies and herbs.
“Tower-to-table,” said Danielle Monroy, one of four Delray Beach residents who co-owns Purgreens, a healthy cafe that will open downtown Friday, Aug. 19. The fast casual restaurant boasts being the first of its kind in Delray Beach. The owners plan to grow almost all products aeroponically on towers either at the restaurant, at 45 NE 2nd Ave., or at an off-site commercial farm.
Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air environment without using soil.
“We literally grow our own product,” Monroy said. “It never touches the soil. It’s non-GMO. It’s pesticide-free.”
The concept of aeroponics isn’t new, she said, but it’s quickly gaining popularity among health-conscious Americans. The 11-foot grow chambers are suspended in the air, where plants use oxygen, nutrient-rich water and sunlight to grow.
Purgreens will offer a “Chipotle-style” salad bar, fresh smoothies and acai bowls, among other healthy options, Monroy said.
The greens, the base of most menu options, are grown aeropically. Once the owners determine demand, they’ll start growing other plants and seeds using the towers, Monroy said.
Monroy and her fellow co-owners — Travis Tomko, Jerry Woods and Torren Szuluk — learned aeroponics from expert friends, and operate a commercial farm from the backyard of one of their Delray Beach homes. In total, they use 11 towers which each grow up to 44 plants.
Purgreens will open next to PurLife Fitness Center, a gym that opened in January 2015 also owned by the four friends. The eatery will be open to non-gym members.
“We always had this vision of providing a full service product, a place where people could keep their bodies healthy and get in shape,” Monroy said of the gym-health restaurant combo.
The grand opening is 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19. It’s open to the public and will include live music and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Said Monroy: “It’s a great opportunity to come taste our product.”