Brooklyn, NEW YORK (March 26, 2019) — Square Roots, the technology leader in urban indoor farming, and Gordon Food Service, one of North America’s leading food service providers, today announced plans for their partnership’s first urban farm campus location, to be constructed on the site of Gordon Food Service’s headquarters in Wyoming, Michigan.
Even as media and the marketplace responded enthusiastically to the companies’ initial March 6 announcement of their relationship, the partners were pursuing necessary local government approvals for their first site plan.
Now secured, the partners’ flagship farm campus plan includes ten specially designed Square Roots shipping containers in direct production, with four additional containers providing operational support. The containers will occupy less than two acres of the Gordon Food Service HQ’s fifty-acre site, yet are projected to produce more than 50,000 lbs of herbs annually.
Additionally, Square Roots will recruit and hire a class of new farmers to participate in its unique, year-long Next-Gen Farmer Training Program at the new Wyoming, Michigan farm campus. The recruitment process will start in early summer, and the program will begin in the fall. Interested applicants can find out more about the program on the Square Roots website, and sign up for early access to applications.
Rich Wolowski, North American President and CEO of Gordon Food Service, noted, “This partnership brings together technology, agriculture, young farmers, and scalability, in a model that could revolutionize our food systems. And it’s wonderful to be starting in our own backyard.”
The partnership’s local, fresh and flavorful herbs and greens are non-GMO, pesticide-free, and will fully meet Gordon Food Service’s high quality and safety standards. Product will be available for purchase by both commercial chefs and consumers shopping at Gordon Food Service’s area retail stores.
Construction and installation of the first container farm campus is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019, with growing operations beginning immediately thereafter. The partners approached this first deployment within the Gordon Food Service distribution network as a template for future farms, with plans to develop additional farms at or near their U.S. and Canadian distribution centers.
Jack Poll, Mayor of the City of Wyoming, Michigan, expressed enthusiasm for his city’s pioneer role in the partnership’s development plans, “Our community is proud to be home to an international business leader like Gordon Food Service and to support new, game-changing innovations in fresh, local food production and distribution.”
The Gordon Food Service-Square Roots partnership reflects a shared vision and commitment by both organizations to invest in a modern, unique offering to meet growing customer demand for local food across North America. It also signifies the first, significant expansion to new locations for Square Roots and its unparalleled farmer training program, enabled by the company’s scalable “farmer-first” technology platform. The Square Roots and Gordon Food Service exclusive partnership comes at a time when customer tastes and palates are seeing an increasing demand for fresh, high-quality, local food.
Tobias Peggs, co-founder and CEO of Square Roots, earlier noted, “This partnership means we will grow delicious, local, real food at huge scale. We’re so happy to be working with a mission-aligned partner in Gordon Food Service — leveraging technology to bring real food to a huge number of people across the country, while delivering real social impact by empowering thousands of young people to become our country’s future farmers.”
About Square Roots
Square Roots is the technology leader in indoor farming. Its mission is to bring local, fresh, real food to people in cities around the world - setting new standards for transparency and responsibility while empowering a new generation of leaders in agriculture. Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Kimbal Musk and Tobias Peggs, its range of fresh produce is available in more than 200 retail locations around the country including Gordon Food Service Stores, Whole Foods Market, Fresh Thyme Market, D&W Fresh Market, Meijer’s market format stores, and Busch’s Fresh Food Market. Square Roots’ strategic partnership with Gordon Food Service reinforces a larger shared ambition to build commercial-scale, climate-controlled indoor farms together across the continent - enabling local food at a global scale, year round. For more information, please visit www.squarerootsgrow.com.
About Gordon Food Service
Since 1897, we have delivered uncompromising quality and heartfelt service for our customers. We began as a simple butter-and-egg delivery service, and have grown to become the largest family business in the foodservice industry by upholding the same approach for over 120 years—remaining passionately committed to the people we serve. Today we serve foodservice operators in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest regions of the United States and coast-to-coast in Canada. We also operate more than 175 Gordon Food Service Store® locations in the U.S., which are open to the public and provide restaurant-quality products and friendly, knowledgeable service without a membership fee. By partnering with organizations from across industries—healthcare to education, independent and chain restaurants, and event planners—we help our customers create food experiences that people choose, enjoy and remember.