“The original thought process of growing yuzu was just for ourselves, because we really fell in love with it,” says Vivek, who owns and operates a yuzu and exotic citrus farm called Bhumi Growers with his wife Seema and daughter Simran in New Jersey. “From there we had a really dumb idea. We said, ‘you know what? Let’s try to sell it to some restaurants.’”
Bhumi Growers proved to be the opposite of a dumb idea. With years of trial and error under their belt, a new greenhouse, and Simran’s expertise in plant grafting, the family now sells to high-end restaurants and craft breweries in New York and New Jersey, as well as to Michelin-starred restaurants like Gabriel Kreuther and Masa in NYC.
The main catalyst for growing their favorite fruit and commercializing their business was Seema’s breast cancer diagnosis. She says, “It makes you realize that you don’t have the time that you think you do...that was a big reason for even considering something as crazy as trying to grow yuzu here in New Jersey.”