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04/05/2022

Gordon Food Service, Square Roots Open Ohio Farm

Partners’ 4th climate-controlled facility is in Springfield
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Square Roots Springfield Main Image
Indoor-farming company Square Roots uses refurbished upcycled shipping containers that are stacked vertically to reduce the company’s impact on the land.

Indoor-farming company Square Roots and distributor Gordon Food Service have opened a new climate-controlled facility in Springfield, Ohio, the fourth such farm that the two companies have opened in partnership. It’s also the second farm that Square Roots has opened this year; the first debuted in Kenosha, Wis., last January.

“Our partnership with Gordon Food Service, combined with our scalable smart-farm technology platform, means Square Roots is able to rapidly open a number of new indoor farms this year,” explained Tobias Peggs, co-founder and CEO of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Square Roots. “With this new facility in Springfield, we are now making locally grown food available, all year, to new consumers across Ohio, while also creating exciting jobs in the community.”

“The new farm we’ve announced with Square Roots in Springfield accelerates our shared vision to build more indoor farms together across the continent,” said Rich Wolowski, president and CEO of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Gordon Food Service, which also operates more than 170 Gordon Food Service Store locations in the United States. “Together, we are enabling local food at a global scale, meeting the rising demand for produce that is fresher, responsibly grown, and traceable from seed to shelf.”

As well as the Springfield and Kenosha facilities, Square Roots operates two commercial-scale indoor farms in Michigan with Gordon Food Service, and a facility in Brooklyn that also houses the company’s center for plant science and research and development.

The Springfield farm employs Square Roots’ tech and software-controlled hydroponic growing systems to produce more food with fewer resources 365 days a year, regardless of outdoor weather conditions. Square Roots’ approach uses 95% less water than conventional field farms, and features repurposed urban infrastructure in the form of refurbished upcycled shipping containers that are stacked vertically to reduce the company’s impact on the land. Through a network of local farms in strategically located cities like Springfield, Square Roots also ensures a shorter supply chain and less distance between people and food, reducing food miles and minimizing food waste.

The Springfield farm will harvest such long-lasting herbs as basil, cilantro, dill and parsley, as well as salad mixes and microgreens. The facility has the capacity to produce more than 2.4 million packages of herbs and leafy greens annually. All Square Roots produce has at least 14 days of extended shelf life and is completely free of pesticides and GMOs.

Square Roots is recruiting locally in Springfield and the surrounding areas, and will hold a virtual job fair on May 19 for area job seekers. The company offers employees extensive ongoing training, along with full benefits, ownership in Square Roots, and professional growth opportunities.

Square Roots’ range of fresh produce is available at more than 250 retail locations across the country, including Gordon Food Service Stores, Whole Foods Market, SpartanNash corporate stores, Fresh Thyme Market, Meijer’s market-format stores, Busch’s Fresh Food Market, FreshDirect and Morton Williams.

In addition to its strategic partnership with Gordon Food Service, which aims to build indoor farms across North America to enable the year-round production of local food at a global scale, Square Roots recently joined forces with URB-E, a compact container delivery network that aims to replace trucks with small electric vehicles, on fast, local delivery of Square Roots’ responsibly grown greens to retail stores across New York City.  

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