kroger gig harbor living wall - 3Cincinnati based grocer Kroger’s newly launched banner Main & Vine is focused on offering customers natural and organic foods in a modern and engaging shopper environment. The new store in Gig Harbor, Washington features a 75-square foot VeraWall or vertical garden – aimed at reconnecting shoppers with nature and providing a health, enjoyable experience for customers. The wall is a smart and exciting way to rethink private brand with truly differentiated healthy, fresh products grown right in store – it changes “farm to table” to “store to table.”

kroger gig harbor living wall - 2“We are developing a sustainable brand, and feel as if the SolTerra living wall is a great way to demonstrate our forward thinking and enhance our customers’ shopping experience. It’s about connecting people with quality food in a more natural environment,” said Ken Pray, director of design at Kroger Foods.

SolTerra designs, builds and manages sustainable, livable mixed-use buildings and is one of the largest installers of living walls, green roofs and solar in the Pacific Northwest. The company builds beautiful structures and installs green systems to reconnect people to nature, create community in urban environments, and make a positive impact on the earth.

“Our goal is to improve cities by providing better, healthier spaces in which to live and work,” says Brian Heather, Founder and CEO of SolTerra. “We want to be part of some of the most innovative structures in the world, that are both good for the community and financially sustainable,” he added.

SolTerra’s patented VeraWall fabric holds and moves moisture – unlike most living walls, which are made of self-contained plastic pots. VeraWall mimics nature by allowing plants to share nutrients and microbial activity. Made of recycled materials, the SolTerra living walls require less water and less maintenance than other vertical gardens because they are designed as one natural system instead of hundreds of isolated plantings.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.