Skip to Main Content
Centre for Building Sustainable Value · Rebecca Zuker, HBA '23 Candidate

Richie Bloomfield: Growing sustainable roots - Incorporating passion into your professional journey

Jun 22, 2023

Huron 1412 (1) (1)

Richie Bloomfield, HBA ‘14, MBA ‘20, demonstrates that following your passion can lead to a successful and fulfilling career.  

Who said you are limited to one career path? Richie Bloomfield defies this in everything he does. 

Richie is currently an Assistant Professor at Huron University, the Co-founder of Urban Roots London, and Co-owner of Sidetrack: A Wortley Café. 

Farming Roots to Sustainable Business 

Growing up on a farm, Richie saw the pressures placed on farmers to be more sustainable. He was intrigued by sustainability from this point on and knew it would be engrained in his career. Richie chose to study globalization at Huron University prior to his HBA years, which exposed him to the world’s most pressing issues. Richie needed to figure out how he could contribute to sustainable development in his career. Time at Ivey and in the Sustainability Certificate program reinforced that the intersection between business and sustainability was feasible. 

In 2017, Richie co-founded Urban Roots London with the goal of revitalizing underused land to grow fresh vegetables for those who may not otherwise have access. One of their most exciting current projects is a collaboration with community resource centers. 1/3 of the produce grown is distributed below market rates to ensure that this produce is accessible. While Urban Roots offers markets at their farm location, this is not necessarily accessible for many low-income individuals due to transportation barriers. Urban Roots sought to provide individuals with an easier, access to fresh produce and have expanded theirpop-up market collaboration with resource centers across London to six locations in 2023.  

“The partnership has been great as the agencies are the ones who can provide the produce to the neighbourhoods and makes the process easier because of those pre-established relationships. They turn this exchange into an event and make it a positive space for the community.”  

Teaching Sustainability and Social Impact in Business 

Richie has also shared his expertise by teaching business and entrepreneurship at Huron University. He makes it a point to integrate social impact and sustainability into the classroom as he believes these concepts must be the new norm in the business world. For example, rather than assigning a traditional marketing case study project, in one of his classes Richie opted to have the students address marketing challenges faced by Flourish and Grow, a London-based business run by a Mi'kmaq artist and present directly to the owner, Mikaila Stevens. Through his teaching, Richie aims to equip students with the essential skills and tools necessary to thrive in the changing landscape of business. 

Richie is optimistic about the future of sustainability based on seeing firsthand how much younger generations care about prioritizing the planet ahead of making a profit. However, he emphasizes that this awareness is merely the first step. Despite feeling content with this progress, he recognizes that there is still much work to be done. Richie knows that not every student will jump on board when it comes to prioritizing sustainability but believes getting those students to listen is half the battle. “Displaying your passion and continuing to push against the status quo is how change is made.”  

As an entrepreneur himself, Richie hopes to dispel some common misconceptions for emerging entrepreneurs. He notes that many believe an entrepreneur must be an ‘ideas’ person and be willing to work long hours.However, Richie believes sometimes waiting for your passions to align with a need in your community is a viable approach to pursuing entrepreneurship and hustle culture can negatively affect your work-life balance. 

To connect with fellow alumni, join Ivey's LinkedIn Sustainability Community.