Gotham Greens’ greenhouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY, on the roof of an existing 15,000-square-foot building. (Photo courtesy of Gotham Greens)It was good to read that Gotham Greens is growing in both meanings of the word. It is exciting to see this happening and I look forward to visiting them soon. Read the rest of this well-written and informative article.
Gotham Greens, said Mr. Puri, has plans for major expansions. “There is no question that we have found a niche that fills a huge void,” he said. “Our second hydroponic farm is currently under construction in Jamaica, Queens, New York, and is a 12,000-square-foot rooftop space. About 70 percent of the fresh produce we produce there will go to Whole Foods Markets in New York.”
Driven by a vision for a local farm that would offer New York chefs and retailers the freshest and highest-quality culinary ingredients year-round at competitive prices, Viraj Puri and Eric Haley developed their first greenhouse facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY, in 2008. In 2009, the partners joined forces with Jenn Nelkin, a nationally renowned greenhouse expert, as a partner to head Gotham Greens’ greenhouse operations. The first harvest at the greenhouse was in June of this year.
“It’s a rooftop greenhouse that we built on top of an existing 15,000-square-foot building,” Mr. Puri, chief executive officer of Gotham Greens, told The Produce News. “We are producing primarily salad greens and herbs currently: baby Butterhead lettuce, basil, Red Sails red leaf lettuce, Tropicana green leaf lettuce and culinary herbs. We plan to add cilantro next.”
The theory behind this operation was well thought out by the partners. They recognized a void and wanted to fill it with high-value, highly perishable products. “We felt that people were not getting an ample supply of high-quality salad greens and decided that would be a great niche for us,” said Mr. Puri. “Our products are currently in several retail stores in New York such as D’Agostino, Whole Foods Markets, Fresh Direct, Union Market and Mario Batali’s retail store, Eataly. But our next step is to supply some of New York’s best-known high-end restaurants. And it’s safe to say that we’ll be in them soon.”
Gotham Greens was financed in part with a $400,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research Development Authority, known as NYSERDA, under the Energy Productivity in Innovative Local Food Production Systems. It also received an $8,000 grand-prize award in 2009 from the New York Green Business Competition, a groundbreaking platform to promote emerging green businesses in the state. The competition rewards investment funds to companies that have the ability to revolutionize their industry by working with local ecological resources while creating economic opportunities.
And Gotham Greens has not been short on media coverage. It has been covered in numerous publications including The Huffington Post, FastCompany, Bloomberg News, the Washington Post, the New York Observer and on “Dan Rather Reports” on HD Net. Read more...