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Square Roots, Gordon Food Service open new Michigan indoor farm

Square Roots has more than doubled production of its classic crops like basil since the beginning of the pandemic, while introducing a new range of herbs and salad mixes to meet rising demand for local food.

October 26, 2021 (Wyoming, MI) — Square Roots, the technology leader in indoor farming, and Gordon Food Service BB #:100172, one of the largest food distributors in North America, held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate their new indoor farm opening in Michigan, taking another step to expand a shared vision to build indoor farms together across the continent — enabling local food at a global scale.

“In partnering with Square Roots, we are delivering on our ambitions to make nutritious, local produce available to everyone, throughout the year, regardless of the local climate,” said Rich Wolowski, CEO of Gordon Food Service.

“This new indoor farm in Michigan means we can grow delicious, local food, all year round, in responsible ways,” said Tobias Peggs, Co-Founder and CEO at Square Roots. “We have an exciting roadmap to build additional indoor farms across the continent with Gordon Food Service, as we work to ensure that the future of food can be good for people and the planet, as well as good business.”

Located at the Gordon Food Service headquarters in Wyoming, Michigan, the new farm was deployed in just 3 months using Square Roots’ modular, smart-farm technology platform. Inside the farm, Square Roots uses its proprietary, cloud-connected software to constantly monitor and control multiple climates, enabling its farmers to grow a wide range of crops to meet a variety of local market needs.

Square Roots produce is widely available at grocery stores including Gordon Food Service Stores and through Gordon Food Service customer restaurants, and on e-commerce platforms across the Great Lakes region. Square Roots is seeking to address a $35.4 billion total produce category at retail1.

In addition to its farming operations, Square Roots continues to invest in the Midwest — recently opening a 5,000 square foot manufacturing facility in the region, where it now creates and assembles key components for future farms.

Key stats:

  • Square Roots operates two indoor farms in Michigan, with the capacity to produce over 2.4 million packages of herbs and leafy greens annually. Approximately 50,000 plants are grown at any given time in each farm.
  • Square Roots grows a wide variety of produce, including herbs like Basil, Dill, Parsley, and Cilantro; microgreens; and salad mixes.
  • Square Roots’ commitment to the local community has created over 30 jobs in the Great Lakes region. These local roles include farm managers, growers, engineers, delivery drivers, technicians, produce packers, and more.
  • Square Roots offers extensive ongoing training opportunities for employees, in addition to full benefits, ownership in Square Roots, and accelerated career paths to propel professional advancement.
  • Square Roots farms are built in cities to dramatically reduce food miles. This results in ultra-high quality produce for consumers, and practically eliminates food waste in the supply chain. The company’s hydroponic growing systems re-circulate the water used to grow crops, allowing for the use of 95% less water than conventional farming methods. All Square Roots produce is in 100% recyclable packaging.

All Square Roots farms are Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certified, in line with the USDA’s standards, and operate to strict COVID-19 protocols to keep farmers and the local community safe.

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.

1 Total Produce in MULO (Latest 52-Week Period Ending 9/5/21)