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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Firm's Seeds Were Sown in Africa

Straight path or scenic route? Comfort of home or unexplored territory? Michael Geller, the 30-year-old owner of Mike's Organic Delivery of Greenwich, would call it a voyage of self-discovery. After quitting his job in advertising, Geller decided he needed to change.

"I have always loved the outdoors," he said. "It got to a point where I wasn't very happy. So I quit my job and went to live in the Kalahari Desert for two months."

Geller followed his gut and worked in the African bush with friends he'd met on a previous visit. He drove tractors, cut down trees, reconnected with nature and lived like the locals, even hunting for his own food. "It was an incredible experience. It definitely changed my life."

The turning point came when Geller noticed the big difference between a grocery store in Botswana and one in Greenwich. "Everything was so fresh," he said. "Tomatoes looked and tasted like tomatoes. I said 'Self, what is wrong with this picture?' "

Back home, he immersed himself in organic farming, sustainable living and creating his business. He partnered with several local farms and delivers to Greenwich residents fresh meat, seasonal fruits and vegetables, organic butter and local honey.

But the organic food purveyor has at least one tale from Africa to tell his grandchildren. While hunting 75 miles from the nearest village, he had a chilling encounter.

"I was jogging through the brush and I heard a slithering noise[.], he said. "There was a 7-foot cobra standing 4-feet away from me. I'm standing there, in full camouflage, thinking to myself, 'If I get bit, I'm not going to live.' There wasn't much I could do, so I just stood there and didn't move a muscle. Eventually he came down and slithered away."

These days his challenges are less dangerous. "My goal is to make Greenwich healthier," said Geller. "People are going to need their local farmers. My whole life I wanted to do something positive professionally. And I honestly believe that I am."

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