Packaged salad maker BrightFarms has partnered with Crosset Co., in an effort to expand its reach and distribute its products to more than 100 independent retailers in the Midwest. A majority of the new stores BrightFarms will service are based in Ohio and will be supplied in large part by the company's newest baby greens facility and greenhouse in Wilmington, Ohio.
Some of the better-known independents that BrightFarms will now distribute to include Dayton's Dorothy Lane Market, Walt Churchills Market (in northwest Ohio) and Krieger’s Health Foods Market in the Cleveland area. BrightFarms began distributing to Jungle Jim’s International Market in Cincinnati earlier this year. Paul Lightfoot, BrightFarms’ founder and president, highlighted independent retailers in Ohio as a key opportunity.
“As we’ve expanded across the country, we’ve been energized by the growth potential of working with the independent market, which serves a large demographic of consumers that care about transparency in food,” Lightfoot said. “Our partnership with Crosset has been instrumental in gaining access to this valuable market.”
Greg Kurkjian, VP and general manager of Crosset, agrees.
“Helping our independent retail customers differentiate their stores, delight their shoppers and grow their business by providing access to the latest fresh produce innovations, particularly locally grown and organic, is our core value proposition,” said Kurkjian. “Our long-standing relationships with the customers in our service area, coupled with our supply chain, logistics and merchandising solutions, align perfectly with BrightFarms’ growth initiative.”
BrightFarms uses hydroponic greenhouse farms near the communities it serves, saying its growing methods are a model for the future of scalable, sustainable local farming as well as conservation of energy, land and water.
“Our success with independent retailers comes as no surprise. Research shows that nearly all shoppers want local, pesticide-free produce," said Steve Platt, BrightFarms CEO. “Our mission at BrightFarms is to provide more access to the freshest, most responsibly grown local produce, whether it’s at a large national retailer or a small, family owned store.”