In 2018, Giuseppe Randazzo, the executive chef for Bon Appétit Management Company at Vivint Smarthome headquarters in Lehi, Utah, went outside for a walk around campus and noticed an empty patch of ground just outside the entrance of the building. Giuseppe grew up in Italy, where the value of gardening as not only a skill, but also a way of life, was instilled at a young age: instead of taking the family on vacation, Giuseppe’s father spent a month each summer in the garden and made sure to involve Giuseppe and his little sister, too.
Looking at that empty patch of ground, Giuseppe saw a garden. An initial conversation with Vivint’s facilities team led to the installation of a large garden made from cement raised beds, which runs about 200 feet alongside a path leading to the building’s entrance. The centrality of the garden is key to its mission: to bring the gift of gardening to the Vivint community.
Once a week, Giuseppe leads the Bon Appétit at Vivint team outside to harvest a wide variety of produce and herbs, everything from rare varieties of peppers, to zucchini, tomatoes, oregano, and lavender. Aside from harvesting help, Giuseppe manages the garden, putting in time before and after work to plant, weed, and water. Slowly but surely, he’s seeking out volunteers and training other Bon Appétit employees to help in the garden as well.
The harvest is used in dishes in the Vivint Café and is also widely shared with the community. A basket of herbs and produce sits at the entrance to the Café, where any guest is welcome to grab a bunch of basil or a zucchini to bring home. The facilities department at Vivint Smarthome has seen the positive impact of the garden and plans to work with Giuseppe to install another 100-foot section of the garden soon.