With a Co-Founder in Dallas, Back to the Roots Launches Texas-made Garden Soils in Three Texas Markets

Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez (who now lives in Dallas) are creating their "Texas-made" soil with an innovative process of "upcycling" local, high-quality green waste, like plant trimmings. Their green vision has attracted celeb investors including Gabrielle Union-Wade, Ayesha Curry, J Balvin, Alyssa Milano, and "The Bachelor" star Sean Lowe.

California-based Back to the Roots has found fertile ground in the Lone Star State, launching its Texas-made Organic Potting Mix, Garden Soil, and Raised Bed Mix in select Home Depot stores throughout the Dallas, Austin, and Houston markets this week.

The organic gardening company is so serious about what’s popping up in Texas, Co-Founder & Co-CEO Alejandro Velez now lives in Dallas.

Texas is a massive market for Back to the Roots with really dedicated gardeners who are looking for organic and sustainable options” Velez said in a statement. “Now that I call Dallas home, I’ve witnessed first hand how important high quality soil is to Texas gardeners, and I couldn’t be more proud and excited to share our native soils with my fellow Texans.”

In addition to Home Depot locations, the company’s products are now available in Texas at Walmart, Tractor Supply, and Target locations, Back to the Roots said.

Soil created by ‘upcycling’ local green waste

[Photo: Back to the Roots]

Back to the Roots’ soil is 100% peat-free, created with an innovative process of “upcycling” local, high-quality green waste—like plant trimmings—into the base for its premium soils.

The company said it’s been cultivating its 100% organic, peat free soil “about an hour outside Houston.” 

Even the bags the soil comes in is eco-friendly. This year, Back to the Roots “developed and launched the garden industry’s first-ever soil packaging made from 100% ISCC certified post-consumer recycled plastic for its best-selling Organic Potting Mix,” the company said.

“For over a decade, Back to the Roots has been driving a new generation into the garden with our high quality, affordable, and easy-to-use organic gardening products,” Co-Founder & Co-CEO Nikhil Arora said in a statement. “Now, with this launch, we’re thrilled to be able to offer Texas gardeners a full solution to start the organic garden of their dreams—from our packet seeds to organic soils and more.”

Co-founders Velez and Arora have dug themselves up some media attention lately. They’ve been featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Inc.’s 30 Under 30, EY Entrepreneurs of the Year NorCal, President Obama’s Champions of Change, and CNN’s 10 Next Gen Entrepreneurs to Watch.

Texas is an ‘important market for gardening’

[Photo: Back to the Roots]

Arora told Dallas Innovates that Texas is “such an important market for gardening—especially the next chapter of gardening, with so many families here passionate about organic and more sustainable gardening solutions.”

He said his co-CEO, Velez, “is first-hand able to see just how much Texas gardeners are looking for affordable products that are great for plants and the planet.”

Celebrity investors 

Back to the Roots’ green mission has attracted some celebrity investors who are helping the company grow—literally.

“Having the vision of investors with such large reaches, like Gabrielle Union-Wade, Ayesha Curry, J Balvin, and Alyssa Milano, supporting this mission just makes us think bigger about our impact,” Arora told us. “Knowing we have such incredible folks in our corner helping us spread the word gives us the confidence and inspiration to continue dreaming big.  We’re also grateful to have the former ABC’s The Bachelor and Texas native, Sean Lowe as an investor and big supporter of our brand.”

“Just this past weekend, we partnered with The Home Depot on a Kids Workshop in which we had over 500,000 kids come out to start their own gardens,” he added. “We were so grateful to have Ayesha, Alyssa, and Gabrielle help spread the word—it’s a cause they’re all so passionate about…inspiring a new generation to get into the garden and reconnect with the land.”

Global business leader Sol Trujillo joined board in September

Last September, Back to the Roots announced that Fortune 50 global business leader Sol Trujillo was joining the company’s board of directors.

“Sol is a master of scale, retail, and innovation,” Arora said. “He’s led some of the largest companies in the world, and having that kind of perspective around us is inspiring. It makes us think bigger, move faster, and continue to elevate our horizons for what this brand can do and the impact we can make, globally. The future of this category is also being driven by a younger, more diverse cohort of gardeners—and to be able to effectively reach that next gen, we need to have a diverse set of leaders guiding this brand, so we’re excited to have Sol helping us grow our business, and also helping us find creative ways to reach Latino gardeners.”

Mission of getting into homes and classrooms alike

Not content with targeting gardens and houseplant pots, Back to the Roots has an eye for schools and kids, too.

“We’re on a mission to get an organic garden into every home and classroom around the country,” Arora said. “To do that, we’re building an end-to-end organic gardening brand to make gardening simple & sustainable. In the short-term, we’re working on getting our organic soils and seeds into every retailer around the country, and also easily accessible online so folks can just be one-click away from starting the organic garden of their dreams. We want to support that all with the most robust customer service and support to make sure we’re really reaching every gardener…no green thumb needed.”

Seeing gardening as more than just ‘tomatoes or basil’

Back to the Roots Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez [Photo: Back to the Roots]

The co-founders see their mission as more than sprouting seeds.

“Gardening to us is more than just growing tomatoes or basil,” Arora said. “It’s a chance to reconnect folks back to the land, to food, and really, to each other. By growing some of their own food, we hope to inspire a renewed curiosity about food and where it comes from. Ultimately, we hope that by reconnecting with food through gardening, our community will start looking for the same simplicity when they’re buying their grocery items.”

“Rebuilding healthier, more resilient, more sustainable food systems start with sparking curiosity and connection again about where food comes—and that’s what gardening does,” he added.

Gardening can build community, too, the brand believes.

“What’s more “human” than breaking bread together with something you have grown?” Arora asked. “And as we think about what the world needs most today, it’s connection to the land and to each other. Over the next 5 to 10 years, we continue to imagine growing into new categories, being at arms’ reach from consumers in stores around the country and online.

Arora says he and Velez hope their brand “will outlive us all and hopefully be a rallying flag for generations to come around conscious capitalism and using business for good.”

Back to the Roots products for indoor and outdoor gardening are also available online, as well as in over 10,000 retail locations nationwide.

[Photo: Back to the Roots]

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