Prior to founding Garden First, Andreas spent five years in Colorado's cannabis industry working at virtually every stage of the cultivation cycle. By starting from the ground up, Andreas has a unique grasp of the realities of warehouse operations and employee satisfaction to bring with him to Garden First.
Andreas Hero was born in Switzerland and raised in Great Falls, Virginia. While receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Advertising from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Andreas began growing in his free time and his hobby eventually turned into a career. While working in the industry for several companies in Colorado for the past five years, Andreas became known for his analytical ability to dissect warehouse operations and established lean but effective improvements to optimize returns without compromising on quality.
Andreas met Garrett while working at local hardware store throughout high school and they instantly connected on their love for cannabis and shared outlook on how people should be treated. Andreas is an avid Redskins fan and follows sports closely in his free time.
Co-founder & Director of Cultivation
Garrett Leon was born and raised in Great Falls, Virginia. He developed a passion for cannabis early on and set his sights on Colorado to pursue a dream of building his own licensed cultivation operation. After completing a Bachelors in Science from Colorado State University, with a double-major in Horticultural Crop Production and Soil Science, Garrett worked as an apprentice and eventually a manager for several recreational and medical cannabis facilities in Colorado.
During his tenure there, he learned a lot about commercial production, but also felt that there was something lacking in the industry- strong company culture. He saw talented individuals not getting the respect they deserved and wanted to build a place where those passions could be fueled. Oregon going recreation in January of 2017 opened the opportunity of entering a new market and living in a place he had always dreamed about- and when his paths converged with Andreas and Darren who saw the same problem and felt the same way, everything fell into place for Garden First to be created.
Beyond gardening, Garrett enjoys seeing bluegrass, spending time in nature, surfing, skiing, and seeing his family- who have been supportive of his dream since the start.
Co-Founder & Director of Sales and Administration
Before joining Garrett and Andreas on this project, Darren was the Director of Business Processing for a startup fertilizer company, Key To Life. As is typical with a startup, Darren had the opportunity to wear many hats, learning business development, sales tactics, and financial management, as well as soil biology, the cannabis marketplace, and the highly profitable yet rapidly evolving world of cannabis nutrient sales.
Darren was born in Ohio and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. After graduating from the University of Missouri-Kansas City's School of Business with a degree in Finance, Darren has had an accomplished career working for multiple start-up enterprises.
Darren’s passion for cannabis was fueled while playing an integral role in managing sales and bookkeeping for an organic fertilizer company in Colorado. Darren’s background and exuberance for building start-ups from the ground up have well-equipped him to handle our customer relations and financial management. He moved to Oregon with his dog Jordan in 2017 and spends his off time hiking, snowboarding, cooking, and seeing live music.