U.S. greenhouse company and Catalyst portfolio company BrightFarms says there is huge untapped potential in the locally grown produce market and believes the rapidly growing category is roughly where the organic sector was around 15 years ago.
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.
Catalyst-backed BrightFarms’ locally-grown lettuce and basil are currently in 650 stores including Walmart, Kroger, Ahold, and Albertsons locations. In two years, the brand has grown its distribution by 225% reaching a household penetration of 1.5 million.
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.
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.
Catalyst portfolio company BrightFarms is gearing up for the opening of its Wilmington, Ohio greenhouse in July, giving consumers in Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus access to year-round locally grown produce.
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.
Catalyst-backed BrightFarms Inc. broke ground in Wilmington on its first greenhouse farm in Ohio. The 120,000 square-foot farm will provide locally grown salad greens and herbs to supermarkets in the Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus metro areas. The farm will create 30 permanent jobs, reduce the amount of miles food has to travel to consumers and improve the environmental impact of the food supply chain.
Since last year, BrightFarms four-acre greenhouse south of Rochelle has been providing top quality fresh greens and herbs, along with tomatoes. The company grows 75 percent greens and 25 percent tomatoes in its hydroponic greenhouse and insists on being pesticide free.
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The demand for hyper-local produce is booming, and BrightFarms is building and operating greenhouses in urban and suburban areas. The company partners with supermarkets like Giant, ACME, and Pick-n-save and puts the farm at or near the store to maximize produce freshness.