A former Army Reserve Captain, Jamie Critelli served his country for eight years. His calls of duty took him to Korea, Germany, Kosovo and Iraq. When he returned home, he decided embark on another adventure – starting his own business. In 2010, he founded Floral Beauty Greenhouses, a wholesale greenhouse company in New York.

“The single hardest thing was getting my head around the funding required, because it’s not cheap to get into farming,” Critelli says. “I had always assumed that coming out of the Army would mean something – that I’d have an easier time obtaining financing. But it still took a lot of persistence.”

Critelli hopes his persistence will pay off in the form of long-term success, and that he’ll help raise the profile of the Homegrown By Heroes label—which will help not only his business, but his fellow veterans as well.

“None of my soldiers were ever looking for a handout,” he says. “They just want a shot. I want people who buy this to think for a second about what it means for society as a whole. I think society needs to do a better job supporting veterans. People need to put a value on the things veterans do for a society.”