The Growing Business


Billings, MT

Dahpne Zortman

Daphne Zortman has been growing sprouts for a long, long, long time. She got into the business with her sister back in 1984 and has been soaking seeds ever since. Based just outside the city limits of Billings, she’s been a local for half her life and selling sprouts for just as long.

When she started growing sprouts with her sister she was working hard because she had to. Years later, she’s still the type of person who likes to get in there and get her hands, dirty but she’s learned to let her employees do some of the work.

The Growing Business comes from modest roots that wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without a lot of hard work. Before technology allowed the growing process to become somewhat automated, Daphne had to be there at least every eight hours to take care of her sprouts. “Back when we started, we were doing everything our own way. We just used five-gallon buckets and made it up how we wanted.  It was hard work. I couldn’t go anywhere,” she says, “I couldn’t even go see my grandma for the weekend without finding a sprout babysitter!”

Daphne, a vegetarian for health reason, has always been a proponent of local goods and tries to buy locally as much as she can. She enjoys eating her own sprouts and is convinced of their powerful health benefits. “They’re a powerhouse of nutrients,” she exclaims, adding that her sprouts are very natural, too, being grown in well water and then cleaned.  There’s very little processing that goes on.

“It’s better for the local economy, it’s better for the environment – there’s a million reasons!” says Daphne of her business and local producers in general.