wholesome greens microgreens joe choi and nicholl gleason

Joe Choi and Nicholl Gleason | Wholesome Greens LLC

Five Minutes with Joe Choi and Nicholl Gleason, Wholesome Greens:

We sat up and took notice of Joe’s stunning food shots. Then we chatted: on microgreens, making beautiful plates, being foodies, and the art of food photography.

Joe: What got me to the photography was that we were working with all these higher endwholesome greens microgreens chefs, and fine dining, and they are all about these pretty plates, and I thought, “I could do some food photography.” That’s what got me into playing with the camera. But I really have more of a passion for landscapes, and nature… recently, I needed a vacation, and I decided to go to Alaska, just to go see the Northern Lights. I was lucky, I saw the lights every night I was there. It was just phenomenal.

Joe’s food photography can be enjoyed on the websites and social media of many Wilmington restaurants, including Rx Restaurant, Ceviche’s, and Jeffrey Porter’s Port City Pop-ups. Take note of these chefs’ artistic use of Wholesome Greens microgreens, herbs and edible flowers:

(The above photos provided courtesy of Joe Choi.)

Joe: Wholesome Greens just had its second anniversary. We’re starting our third year now, with the microgreens. Our main business is the wholesale market; we supply lots of restaurants in the area.

People can find us at Port City Farmers Market, and always at the market at Waterline.

Nicholl: We got started in microgreens because I had gotten sick, and we were at an event about healthy living, and someone was talking about how nutritious microgreens are, so we bought some trays, and did some research.

red mustard microgreens

arugula microgreens

fennel microgreens

Joe: We always wanted to have a farm-type business, but we didn’t have the land for that, so we figured out a way to do a niche urban farm. The microgreens fit perfectly into that concept – small produce for small spaces. Right now we grow about twenty different varieties of microgreens.

Nicholl: More than that!

Joe: The chefs definitely know what to do with our microgreens, and with the edible flowers, and herbs – we don’t need to tell them how to do their job! But we love to hear how our market clients use microgreens too. Beyond the salad… the best use I’ve seen lately is, we had a couple full flats of lemon basil greens, and they actually had gotten big, they weren’t perfect, but George Collum who was helping do the cooking demo at the Farmers Market that night, turned them into a lemon-basil ice cream. Oh my goodness. That was so amazing.

Nicholl: That was amazing! It was so good. People are confused when they see microgreens: they aren’t sprouts! They don’t know at all what they should do with them. It’s fun talking with people about what microgreens are, and how to use them. I make little samples, and let people try them, and then tell them that the tiny cup is a whole serving of vegetables. People are shocked that something that small, and that good, is so good for you. It makes them want to know more about it. It’s really fun to sample the mixes that we make: a spicy one, a tart one. Everyone who buys our microgreens comes back and says, oh wow, they were so good! They really are so tender, and so easy to be creative with. People say, “I put them on my eggs,” “I put them on my tacos”… you can use them so many different ways.

Joe: People are always finding cool ways to use microgreens, and we always ask them to come back and share those with us.

This is what Port City Foodie did with a microgreen mix, a lovely ripe tomato, and a raspberry vinaigrette. It’s obvious, but delightful:

microgreens salad

Up next for Joe and Nicholl? Perhaps a collaboration of microgreens, beautiful food, and equally beautiful photography. Stay tuned.

Find Wholesome Greens at the next Port City Farmers Market. Follow the market schedule on Facebook.


You can learn more about Wholesome Greens at their website.

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