First commercial harvests scheduled for spring 2023, available to local retailers,
restaurants, schools, and hospitals across the Central Midwest region
Driven by demand for locally-grown food, Square Roots has tripled growing capacity
this year, enabled by the company’s scalable smart-farm technology platform
December 6, 2022 (Shepherdsville, KY) — Square Roots, the technology leader in indoor farming, and Gordon Food Service, one of the largest food distributors in North America, today announced the opening of a new climate-controlled, indoor farm in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.
Since establishing their strategic partnership in 2019, Square Roots and Gordon Food Service have been building indoor farms together across the continent—with the ultimate aim of bringing locally-grown food to customers at a global scale. In the past year alone, Square Roots has deployed new, co-located farms on Gordon Food Service distribution centers in Kenosha, Wisconsin; Springfield, Ohio; and now Shepherdsville, Kentucky.
“Working with Gordon Food Service, we’ve tripled our aggregate growing capacity this year while entering three new strategic markets across America’s heartland,” said Tobias Peggs, Co-Founder and CEO of Square Roots. “This rapid expansion is purely driven by customer demand for our locally-grown food. And it’s been enabled by our scalable smart-farm platform — which we’ve shown can be replicated in multiple new locations, quickly and cost effectively.”
The new Shepherdsville facility showcases the latest version of the Square Roots platform, which increases yields by 30% and features a range of automation technologies for key functions including seeding, harvesting, and sanitization. Inside the farm, the local team uses Square Roots’ proprietary software to manage every aspect of growing—from planning production tasks to monitoring plant health. Meanwhile, all Square Roots farms are USDA Harmonized GAP+ Certified for the highest levels of food safety.
“Together, Gordon Food Service and Square Roots are making locally grown, fresh produce available to our customers all year round, regardless of outdoor weather conditions,” said Rich Wolowski, President and CEO of Gordon Food Service. “Each new farm we open gets us closer to our shared goal of enabling local food at a global scale.”
Square Roots’ recirculating hydroponic system uses far less water, and requires far less land, in comparison with conventional field farms. And by deploying a distributed network of local farms in strategic locations like Shepherdsville, Square Roots creates less distance between people across America and their food, reducing food miles and minimizing food waste.
The Square Roots team in Shepherdsville will soon be harvesting long-lasting herbs, nutritious salad mixes, and chef-favorite microgreens. The facility has been sized to produce over 3 million packages of herbs and leafy greens annually. All Square Roots produce has at least 14 days of extended shelf life, is completely free of pesticides and GMOs, and is sold in recycled and recyclable packaging.
Square Roots is recruiting locally in Shepherdsville and the surrounding area, opening exciting careers in the high-tech agriculture industry. Square Roots offers extensive ongoing training opportunities for employees, in addition to a compensation package that is competitive and equitable, including benefits and stock options.
About Square Roots
Square Roots is the technology leader in indoor farming with a mission to responsibly bring its locally grown food to people in cities around the world, all year round. Square Roots is setting new standards for transparency and responsibility, while training a new generation of leaders in agriculture to create a more sustainable food system. Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Kimbal Musk and Tobias Peggs, its range of fresh produce is available in retail locations around the country, including Whole Foods Market, SpartanNash corporate stores, Meijer, Fresh Thyme Market, Busch’s Fresh Food Market, Fresh Direct, Getir, and Gordon Food Service Stores. Square Roots has strategic partnerships with Gordon Food Service and United Natural Foods Inc. (NYSE:UNFI); co-locating commercial-scale, climate-controlled indoor farms across the continent – enabling local food at a global scale, year-round. For more information, please visit www.squarerootsgrow.com.
About Gordon Food Service
For 125 years, Gordon Food Service has delivered uncompromising quality and heartfelt service for our customers. Beginning as a simple butter-and-egg delivery service, we’ve grown to become the largest family business in the foodservice industry by upholding the same approach since 1897—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 170 Gordon Food Service Store locations in the U.S. 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.