Business Times of Edmond, Oklahoma May 2018 - Page 19

2017, there’s been no looking back — the partnership between Citizens and Urban Agrarian came together easily with both of us seeing the amazing potential to build community and make Downtown Edmond even more of a destination. “I look forward to seeing all of the ways that the resources at Vault 405 can help Urban Agrarian expand its reach. I couldn’t be more excited.” Burch says the opportunity to expand into Edmond was too appealing to pass up and gave him hope that he could raise the capital he needed. “It was one of the big pieces of support that kept us afloat,” he said. “Her (Castilla) support and their (Citizens) offer to include us in this project was what allowed us to get to this point. It seemed really intuitive that we would do well in this space.” Burch spent the remainder of 2017 running a scaled-down version of Urban Agrarian and looking for the funding to expand. To aid his effort, he convinced Oklahoma native and former president of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, Chelsey Simpson, to move back to Oklahoma City from Brooklyn and partner with him on the business. By early 2018, the pair had secured the necessary investment, and plans to open the Edmond storefront and expand the hours of Urban Agrarian’s original location began to move forward. “All year long, customers have told us how much they depend on Urban Agrarian as a trusted source for products they can’t easily find elsewhere, like grass-fed meat and local produce,” Simpson said. “Farmers depend on us, too — to date, we have worked with more than 140 Oklahoma farms, ranches and producers.” Urban Agrarian’s new Edmond location should be open soon after the business celebrates its 10th anniversary in May, Burch said. He’s grateful for the community support that made this milestone possible, and he hopes to return the favor 10-fold. “We know that Urban Agrarian has the potential to be an economic driver in Oklahoma’s food and agricultural community,” Burch said. “Our vision is to support a network of thriving farms and provide our community with all the best food we can get our hands on, for years to come,” Simpson concurred. “Having a second location gave us the potential to make the business more profitable,” she said. “Being able to expand our market opportunities without expanding our infrastructure was a no-brainer. We already had a strong marketplace in Edmond because we had been doing the farmers market here for 10 years now. We knew it could be a home run.” May 2018 | The Business Times 19