Owners Shannon O’Malley and Brad Doyle met on a Christmas morning run on Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa, FL in 2011. Wanting a change in pace and environment, a move to downtown St. Pete is what started them down the path of having a love for local. Both dreamed of one day owning their own business but it wasn’t until a small backyard experiment in hydroponic growing of lettuces and kales began to literally grow roots into what would one day become Brick Street Farms.
With Shannon’s passion for health conscience local foods and both their passion for technology as a solution to almost any problem, an idea began to stir in Shannon’s creative mind. Their backyard greens continued dying due to the tremendous Florida heat and humidity and couldn’t find the quality they wanted for most of the year. Building a permanent indoor structure was too cost-prohibitive. Enter the up-cycled refrigerated shipping containers.
They first purchased a very run-down, industrial zoned, piece of property in the heart of the Grand Central Arts and Warehouse Districts that had been a junkyard for the better part of 30 years with no running water or electricity for decades. After an intensive environmental inspection process on the land, business and financial investors planning, city-building and zoning hurdles to overcome, and clearing the property of 30 years of negligence, our 3 up-cycled container growing facilities landed on-site in August of 2016. Water hooks up with a garden hose, electric hooks up like a plug-in electric stove and we were off and growing in October 2016. Future plans include expanded growing capacity to upwards of 14 containers on-site stacked 2 high with a catwalk and lift to access the second level. Additionally, a shipping container permanent structure in the northeast corner of the property that houses a chef style kitchen and outdoor/indoor entertainment space for special events such as farm-to-table dinners featuring guest chefs from the local and regional areas.