Eat local, eat fresh, Eat Sprout

11/20/2023| Samantha Foley

Eat local, eat fresh, Eat Sprout

11/20/2023 | Samantha Foley

Image of customer picking out items at Eat Sprout

Fresh, convenient, locally sourced, sustainability, community…these are just a few of the concepts that come to mind when walking into an Eat Sprout location. What started as a homegrown idea has now sprouted major roots and business owners Ryan and Emily Groll have plans to branch out even further.

After moving from Anne Arundel to Talbot County in 2012, the couple found themselves at a bit of an impasse. Despite Ryan’s diligent work to line up a promising career in the fitness industry before making the move, professional prospects fell through. Giving up and moving back home to Baltimore didn’t seem like an option to the young couple. That’s when the Talbot County community stepped in.

As new residents in Talbot County, Ryan and Emily felt like strangers to the Eastern Shore community of Easton, but that didn’t stop the community from rallying around the family. Before they knew it, the Grolls had an entire neighborhood knocking on their door offering a helping hand. Most importantly, one knocking neighbor came along with a unique idea that would not only put the couple back to work, but would also plant the seeds for Ryan and Emily’s future to bloom! The agreement was simple – meal prep for money. The plan would help ease the stress and strain of sticking to a healthy meal plan for the customer, while giving the Grolls some financial padding.

“Both my wife and I have backgrounds in nutrition and kinesiology. We’re both passionate about healthy living and helping others thrive. As experts in the health, fitness and the food industry, we love to cook and more importantly, we love to eat,” said Ryan. “We understand the stress of maintaining proper nutrition and making time for healthy meals, while keeping up with the hustle and bustle of a very busy life.”

So, with a loose game plan in mind, Ryan and Emily set to work creating a delicious and accessible meal prepping menu. They would include one key ingredient: the hand- prepped meals would feature some of the region's freshest produce, with much of it found right in Ryan and Emily’s own backyard garden. As the Grolls first official customer grew to love the fresh and convenient meal options, word of mouth began to spread. Feeding and meal prepping for one household turned into another, followed by another, and then another. Pretty soon, it felt like the entire town of Easton was inquiring about these quick and healthy meal options.

Image of baked goods at Eat Sprout

That’s when the Grolls realized they would need to “seed” out a new plan. After saving up some initial funding, the couple quickly purchased a food truck, giving them mobility for an increased customer base. Along with the increased customer base, came an increased demand for fresh ingredients. Reaching out to local farmers and food growers, Ryan began to crowdsource a supply and demand food operation that would become the basis for an entire sustainably-based community business system. And it all started with one simple gesture…..a knock on the door.

From there, Ryan and Emily quickly realized that the team needed to set up its first brick-and- mortar facility, which led to the original Eat Sprout location in Easton, followed by two more locations in St. Michaels and Annapolis. It seemed like locations and ideas were continuing to “sprout up” everywhere. As the business expanded, so did the Grolls’ relationship with local farmers and food suppliers.

“It’s gotten to the point that we’ve created a symbiotic supply-and-demand operation with our food growers. All of our products are hand-grown, processed, pasteurized, and butchered to fit our specific seasonal needs here at Eat Sprout,” said Ryan. “This guarantees minimal waste and provides a locally sustainable exchange of goods and services—from the cows used for our dairy and meat products, to the veggies, turkeys, eggs and chicken used in each of our meals.”

Ryan doesn’t “plant” on just stopping here, he hopes that one day the Eat Sprout name will become a local hub for sustainable eating and living in Maryland. To learn more, visit .

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