Business: Seeds Trust
Owners: Julia Coffey & Alisha Wenger
What does Seeds Trust do?
Seeds Trust sells high-altitude and regionally adapted veggie, wildflower, native grass, and herb seed.
What inspired you to start this business?
The disappearing biodiversity. We want to strengthen regional seed supply and teach people to save seed for a more resistant food system.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Julia: I am the president of Seeds Trust: this incredible company dedicated to encouraging customers to save seeds and reverse the loss of biodiversity not only in our backyards but around the world.
I am from Denver, Colorado, and when I am not measuring out seeds, printing packets, growing tomatoes, hunting down the most resilient and special seed varieties, I like to take full advantage of our magnificent swath of Rocky Mountains by hiking, backpacking, climbing, and breathing in the fresh mountain air. I like to sing and am a member of the Colorado choir, an 80s a cappella group, a hip-hop a cappella group, and a rock and roll/blues band.
I graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with degrees in Linguistics and French and lived in France teaching English and learning about local food market economies vs. the global industrialized food model.
I met Bill McDorman while visiting a permaculture farm in Lyons, CO. He was giving a lecture on seeds and seed diversity and it genuinely changed my life. I immediately found him after the lecture and told him I wanted to be involved in whatever way I could. I ended up attending one of Bill’s first Seed School workshops and continued to apprentice with him in Cornville, Arizona. I helped Bill run Seeds Trust until I bought the business from him in 2011. I then returned to Denver [and now Grand Junction] to provide high altitude adapted seed to mountain growers.
In my work with seeds, language, and people, I continue to learn that true strength and resilience stems from diversity, respect, and passion.
Alisha: I am a proud Coloradan who grew up in Steamboat Springs and studied English at Colorado State University. After graduation, I fulfilled a dream of serving with the United States Peace Corps, spending three years in Togo, West Africa as an Environmental Action and Food Security Development Agent. During this time, I found my love for empowering communities to find innovative solutions for making our world a better place to live.
Since returning home in 2013, I have worked in the Denver metro non-profit and government sectors as a grant writing and fundraising professional. I am passionate about food justice and regenerative food systems work. I completed my permaculture design certification with the Denver Permaculture Guild in 2017 and is board Treasurer for Global Seed Savers.
I guide new initiatives with my background in community and resource development and handle community outreach, promotions, and marketing for Seeds Trust. Get in touch with me if you are interested in collaborating on a project or event!
Describe a typical day for you.
Printing packets, filling packets with seed, and fulfilling customer orders.
What brought you to the Business Incubator Program?
Alisha moved to Palisade and looked for business opportunities that were local for business growth.
How can people get in touch with you?
About the Incubator Program
The Business Incubator Center offers an intensive, five-year business support program that accelerates the successful development of start-ups and fledgling companies by providing entrepreneurs with an array of industry-specific resources and services. Businesses accepted into the Incubator Program are housed on campus with direct access to business consultants and workshops, regular financial and business reviews, and networking opportunities.
Client companies extend to all types of industries, including manufacturing, service, and office space spread throughout the 35,000 square-foot mixed-use space on 46 acres right outside of downtown Grand Junction, Colorado.