Anastasia Cole Plakias
Founder, Vice President
TOPICS: Farming, Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Events
A native New Yorker, Anastasia Cole Plakias was born-and-raised in the West Village, where her experience gardening was limited to growing lima beans on her sixth floor apartment windowsill. After spending four years fleeing honeybees in abject fear on the campus of Vassar College, Anastasia graduated with a bachelor's degree in English, a respectable freelance writing resume, and a total lack of fundamental skills.
Following her appetite to the world of restaurants, she spent the next several years in the Executive Offices of the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group. In 2009, Anastasia made the decision to leave the hospitality world to pursue her dream of making a positive impact on our food and farming systems. It was then that she met her business partners and began ascending a steep learning curve as a farm operator.
As Founding Partner of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, the leading green roof farming business in the US, Anastasia has worn many hats over the years: she developed the farm's Events program, ran the Sales department, and continues to manage its Communications and External Affairs, focusing on creating strong and meaningful connections between the farm and the communities it serves. She Co-Founded the farm's sister non-profit organization, City Growers, for whom she continues to serve as an Advisory Board Member. Her book, The Farm on the Roof: What Brooklyn Grange Taught Us About Entrepreneurship, Community, and Growing a Sustainable Business, came out in April 2016.
Anastasia's passion for educating urbanites about food, farming, and entrepreneurship is outweighed only by her penchant for telling longwinded stories featuring obscure vegetable trivia. She has also overcome her fear of bees, helping to catch the occasional swarm from one of the farm's 30 hives, and co-producing the annual NYC Honey Week. A published writer and photographer, neophyte bird nerd, and avid home cook, Anastasia is dedicated to making her native city a greener and more sustainable place to live.