CEO of Catalyst portfolio company BrightFarms, Paul Lightfoot, was named chairman of the USDA Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. A healthy and sustainable food zealot, Lightfoot leads BrightFarms on its mission to provide supermarkets with the freshest, tastiest and most responsibly grown local produce. Through his vision, BrightFarms has created the first national brand of locally grown produce.
BrightFarms has secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support robust expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors. BrightFarms will use the funds to invest in its current farms and retail programs and expand its network of regional indoor farms across the U.S.
Catalyst-backed BrightFarms, a leading supplier of locally grown salads for supermarkets, opened a new expansion to its Rochelle, IL greenhouse. The increase in production will support BrightFarms continued growth in the market, including a 34 percent jump in year over year sales with Mariano’s.
Catalyst portfolio company BrightFarms, a leading supplier of locally grown salads, recently surpassed 2,000 stores, bringing their total store count to 2,009. BrightFarms has added more than 800 stores this year amid a record surge in demand that has increased year over year sales growth by 40% in the last month. The company’s growth has been driven by continued success with national retail partners like Ahold Delhaize USA and Kroger/Roundy’s and Walmart, along with recent product launches in Sam’s Club and Meijer.
Catalyst portfolio company BrightFarms, the locally grown salad provider, recently announced that it is expanding distribution in the Mid-Atlantic, tapping Ahold banner Food Lion’s more than 330 Virginia-based stores. Following the expansion, the partnered Food Lion locations will be serviced from BrightFarms’ Culpeper, Virginia, greenhouse.
Catalyst-backed BrightFarms opened a 280,000 square feet indoor farm in Selinsgrove, Penn. on what once were soybean fields. It is the latest and largest from BrightFarms, a nationwide hydroponic greenhouse operation that aims to eliminate the long-distance trucking many greens require by growing them locally year-round.
It’s three days before Thanksgiving, and the news just hit nationwide. Another romaine lettuce recall threatens turmoil in the produce industry – and for the second year in a row, it’s all happening in the reaches of America’s most indulgent holiday.
Catalyst portfolio company Bright Farm’s founder, Paul Lightfoot, is literally watching from the sidelines. He’s at the headquarters of a Midwest food retailer for a meeting – by happenchance – but now, that conference room has turned war room as teams work to initiate protocols to pull affected products from the shelves.
Lightfoot doesn’t necessarily have to worry, however. As founder and president of BrightFarms, an indoor farming company that grows salads in high-tech, computer controlled greenhouses, his product isn’t impacted (the latest recall included romaine harvested in Salinas, California). In fact, within minutes, he can attest to a spike in orders, and BrightFarms salads will soon fill up empty store space.
Catalyst portfolio company BrightFarms is changing the future of food but would not be able to do so without the help of people like Denise DeRue – one of the head growers at BrightFarms. Denise began her career as an apprentice grower at the BrightFarms Virginia facility and after months of training was promoted to head grower of the Pennsylvania facility. BrightFarms’ greenhouses are operated via hydroponics and the company understands that smart growers like Denise enable them to expand rapidly. Each grower focuses on one greenhouse to make sure it has the healthiest, cleanest and freshest produce all the time.
Catalyst portfolio company BrightFarms, the No. 1 brand of locally grown packaged salads, is expanding into North Carolina with a new 280,000 sq. ft. hydroponic greenhouse. The new greenhouse will deliver up to two million pounds of local leafy greens and herbs to supermarkets in North Carolina and surrounding states.
Catalyst portfolio company BrightFarms hired Steve Platt as CEO, while the company’s founder, Paul Lightfoot, continues as the company’s President and Founder.