Tom's Story

Hi, I'm Tom, founder of Rype

The idea of growing food had always appealed; part the challenge, part my love of fresh food (the smell of vine tomatoes…mmmmm), and way to bring a bit of country life to the city. So when my fiancee and I moved into a house with a small garden in January 2020, I was excited to give it go.

I decided to take the experimental approach thinking how hard can it be. Turns out quite hard. I bought my tomato seeds & pods, realising a week later that I would also need a grow light for any chance of success. Then realised I had the timing wrong by about 4 weeks. Despite the rocky start, I was delighted to eventually have 6 healthy looking baby tomato plants ready to be potted outside.

Then the pandemic hit. A friend and I from work started a side business, coincidentally in the gardening industry, saving plants that were going to waste as a result of garden centre closures - you can read more here. And I saw the other side of the problem. A traditional industry targeted at people who largely know what they’re doing, have access to a garden centre and plenty of time. Basically everything I’m not.

Meanwhile, my tomatoes were thriving and I was loving it. My morning routine of a cup of tea and watering was a blissful start to the day. Nature was thriving and it was something I had done. I learnt how to ‘pinch’ & ‘stake’ as they grew, developing my practical understanding of what was going on. I eventually went on to lose half my plants due to water drainage issues.

But, the idea for Rype had been sown (thank you), and over the coming months I learnt that 40% growers give up after first attempt. That combination of satisfaction and frustration was more than enough to know there’s an opportunity to help others enjoy the wonders of growing, whilst avoiding the common problems.

And so Rype was born. The mission is simple - get more people growing, and more importantly enjoying it. The so our kits are designed to help others discover the joys of growing, whilst avoiding as many common challenges as possible.