BrightFarms, a grower of indoor leafy greens, will officially open its latest indoor farm, in Hendersonville, North Carolina, on May 7. The 6-acre greenhouse will produce 2 million pounds of lettuce annually for the Southeast region, furthering the company’s mission to make its produce available to consumers across the United States.
The new facility is centrally located for quick delivery to retailers across the region, including North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The fresh greens travel much shorter distances than lettuce grown conventionally on the West Coast, arriving at local supermarkets in as little as 24 hours. Additionally, the greenhouse will employ more than 55 staffers trained in BrightFarms' cutting-edge proprietary technology.
“With 10 years of innovation and growing under our belts, we are ready and able to bring our proven indoor growing model and fresh greens to millions of new consumers in the Carolinas and beyond,” noted Steve Platt, CEO of Irvington, New York-based BrightFarms. “We are committed to being the leading supplier of local salads in the Southeast and look forward to partnering with retailers to make fresh, clean and safe produce a reality.”
The opening-day event will include several keynote speakers, including North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper; U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; and Sam Kass, former White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition.
BrightFarms currently has greenhouses in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Virginia, with plans to open another in New England later in 2021. In 2021, the company aims to double in size and production, making its products available in more than 3,500 retail stores in the United States — the most of any indoor-farming producer.
In October, BrightFarms raised more than $100 million in debt and equity capital, led by Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises. The opening of its latest greenhouse is one of the first big steps in BrightFarms’ robust expansion plans. The controlled-environment agriculture industry has seen more than $1 billion in capital raised in the past six months alone.