Fresh Fruit Portal | U.S.: Local produce segment where organic was 15 years ago, says BrightFarms

Produce Retailer | BrightFarms delivers greenhouse tours with in-store virtual reality

While Catalyst portfolio company BrightFarms limits the number of people in its facilities for food safety reasons, it recently embarked on a virtual reality-driven retail program that allows shoppers to explore operations in the next most personable manner. Now through the end of the year, BrightFarms will set up retail displays during weekends at which shoppers can take a virtual tour of operations and taste the product.

Dayton Daily News | This massive new greenhouse is harvesting its first local crops, and you could see them in your store soon

Catalyst-backed BrightFarms recently harvested the first crop from its new 120,000-square-foot indoor greenhouse facility in Wilmington, Ohio. The company invited regional and state officials to the first harvest at the greenhouse located 45 minutes southeast of Dayton to demonstrate the economic impact the new greenhouse will have in the state. While local is the number one demand driver of produce, supermarkets have trouble sourcing the quantity they need, so BrightFarms aims to supply local produce at a commercial scale. The greenhouse is state-of-the-art in both its sustainability and production.

Wall Street Journal | BrightFarms Raises $55 Million in New Funding Round

Indoor farming startup BrightFarms Inc. raised $55 million in new funding to open more hydroponic greenhouses across the U.S. as it seeks to capitalize on rising demand for locally grown food. The Series D round is led by Cox Enterprises Inc. and includes funding from existing investors Catalyst Investors, WP Global Partners and NGEN Partners.

Cincinnati Business Courier: BrightFarms expands to Ohio

Catalyst-backed BrightFarms is expanding its operations to Ohio, opening a $10 million Greater Cincinnati facility to supply large grocery chains in the region. The Wilmington greenhouse is BrightFarms’ fourth, behind the original concept greenhouse in Pennsylvania, one in Northern Virginia and one in Rochelle.

The Packer: BrightFarms building fifth greenhouse

Catalyst-backed BrightFarms announced its fifth production greenhouse will be built in Abilene, Texas. The company has production facilities in Rochelle, Ill., Bucks County, Pa., and Culpepper County, Va. A Wilmington, Ohio, facility is scheduled to open in July.

The Packer: BrightFarms launches Sunny Crunch salad

Catalyst Investors’ portfolio company BrightFarms has expanded its product line. The new item began shipping in January, and all stores that carry BrightFarms product will have Sunny Crunch. BrightFarms supplies hundreds of locations in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois and Wisconsin from greenhouses in Rochelle, Ill., Culpepper County, Va., and Bucks County, Pa. Retail customers include Walmart, Giant and Roundy’s.

The company plans to launch more products this spring.