Clayton Farms (Nebullam), Ames

A lot has changed for Nebullam (now Clayton Farms) since its conception in 2017. When Clayton Mooney and Danen Pool founded their business five years ago, they originally envisioned themselves as a technology provider for other indoor farms. After the pandemic hit in 2020, they were forced to adapt and change to a direct-to-consumer indoor farm. The new business model proved to be successful, so Mooney doubled down on the new vision. Recently, Mooney and Pool have rebranded from their original name, Nebullam, to Clayton Farms as it better suits their current business model and vision.  

Operating out of their indoor farm in Ames, Iowa, Clayton Farms offers its customers a year-round subscription-based service that delivers fresh produce to consumers within hours of harvest. This extremely fast turn-around is important because it allows the produce to maintain all of its valuable nutrients that would otherwise be lost in the typical grocery store delivery process. It also provides consumers with longer shelf-lives on their produce and fresher food with no pesticides. Mooney describes the Clayton Farm subscribers as the most rewarding part of his job. He places heavy value on their input, allowing them to vote for a new fruit or vegetable to be grown and sold every three months.

Clayton Farms’ subscriber base has continued to grow and expand, which has led them to opening a second location in Edina, Minnesota. The new farm has already started to receive pre-orders and is expected to be fully operational by September 2022. Mooney envisions this new location as the first of many. In the future, Clayton Farms aims to continue expansion across the Midwest, and eventually all over the nation, becoming the primary source of fresh produce for consumers. Mooney also wants to expand their produce selection into all different types of fruits and vegetables. As the business grows, Mooney continues to place emphasis on creating a great team culture filled with “A-Players”.

Mooney’s best piece of advice for new small business owners is to understand what you want to build and accomplish, and then work backward from there. He also spoke about the value that SBDC Iowa can provide, “SBDC can help founders save time by having access to so much data that helps show what other businesses are doing and what is already working.”

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