Our Story

Our co-founders, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora, met in college during their senior year. They both were sitting in a business ethics class when their professor mentioned a random fact in a lecture about sustainability - "gourmet mushrooms can grow on spent coffee grounds." Curious about that fact, they both reached out to their professor for more information and were connected to each other. What followed was an immediate connection built off a shared curiosity & passion to figure out not just how to grow their own mushrooms, but also how the rest of their food grew. After successfully growing their own crop of mushrooms in Alejandro's fraternity during their last semester in college, the duo got a $5k grant from their Chancellor and decided to give up their corporate job offers to become full-time urban mushroom farmers in Oakland, CA.

Nikhil Arora + Alejandro Velez

Since, Back to the Roots has evolved from a college kitchen experiment into a passion for organic gardening and a mission to help reconnect a new generation back to food and where it comes from. We want to help every family and kid across the country experience the magic and wonder of growing their own food - no green thumb or big backyard needed! 

To do that, we're building the organic garden brand for a new generation — easy & fun grow kits to help you get started, or a line of packet seeds if you want to really get your hands dirty with tons of new varieties!

And know that as you start your growing journey with us, we'll be right here by your side — feel free to always give us a ring at 5109229758 or email us at contact@backtotheroots.com with any gardening questions!.

Let's grow, together! 

Our Mission

We're on a mission to reconnect every family & kid back to where food comes from by helping them experience the magic of growing it themselves - no green thumb or backyard needed. We hope you enjoy our organic gardening products and join us on our journey to get America growing!


Each one of our gardening kits is part of our #GrowOneGiveOne campaign – post a photo of your what you grew, and we’ll donate a gardening kit + curriculum to an elementary school classroom of your choice!

Much love,
Alejandro, Nikhil, & the Back to the Roots family