The vertical farming industry may have hit a rough patch over the last year or so, but San Francisco-based leafy greens company Plenty Unlimited Inc. appears to be thriving with the announcement earlier this month that it has doubled its retail footprint.
The company’s pesticide-free produce is now available at all California-based Whole Foods and Gelson’s Markets locations. Its Compton-based farm, which opened in May, is scaling up to produce 4.5 million pounds of greens a year, the company said.
The company's leafy greens are also available via Bristol Farms, Good Eggs, Imperfect Foods, Misfits Market and via Instacart.
“Opening Plenty’s first commercial-scale farm in Compton makes it possible for us to provide California retailers with a reliable supply of fresh leafy greens year-round,” said Dana Worth, senior vice president of Commercial at Plenty, in a statement. “From expanding our presence in Whole Foods Market to bringing new, leading California retailers like Gelson’s on board, we’re giving more consumers access to regional produce that is grown clean."
Plenty Unlimited said its leafy greens are grown indoors and use a fraction of the land and water needed for conventional farming, and they “can be eaten right out of the package with no need to wash.”
The two grocers will offer Plenty Unlimited’s baby arugula, baby kale, crispy lettuce and curly baby spinach, the company noted in a statement. "We’ve been big supporters of Plenty since we first started carrying their greens in our Bay Area stores back in 2020,” Eric Cusimano, produce category manager for Whole Foods Market, said in a statement. "We’re thrilled to be making Plenty’s produce available to all of our California shoppers."
Paul Kneeland, senior vice president at Gelson’s Markets, said fresh produce has earned the grocer a reputation as one of the best supermarket chains in the country. “Plenty makes it possible for us to provide our Southern California shoppers with delicious, locally grown greens all year long, thanks to their advanced technology that brings out its best natural flavor," Kneeland said.
Plenty Unlimited is also planning to expand to the East Coast and is building a new farming facility in Richmond, Virginia, which is expected to open in 2024. That facility will also produce strawberries through a deal with Driscoll’s.
The expansion comes about a month after Morehead, Kentucky-based indoor farming company AppHarvest filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. About a month prior to that, Newark, New Jersey-based vertical farming company Aerofarms also filed for bankruptcy.