Whole Foods To Open Nation’s First Commercial-Scale Rooftop Greenhouse
Whole Foods Market announces that Gotham Greens is its operating partner of the nation’s first commercial scale greenhouse farm integrated within a retail grocery space. The 20,000-square-foot greenhouse, currently being constructed on the roof of the forthcoming Whole Foods Market store in Brooklyn, NY, is scheduled to open later this fall. Gotham Greens will grow pesticide-free produce in the greenhouse for the new market, as well as other Whole Foods Market locations throughout New York City.
“Gotham Greens has been a valued local supplier of high quality, flavorful, and fresh produce to Whole Foods Market since early 2011, making this greenhouse project a natural and extremely exciting next step in our relationship,” said Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market Northeast Regional President. “We’re particularly excited to partner with a local organization with roots right here in Brooklyn and a mission in line with our own, in that we both care deeply about providing local, fresh, and sustainably produced food.”
The new greenhouse will be designed, built, and operated by Gotham Greens in partnership with Whole Foods Market. The specially designed rooftop farm will include advanced irrigation systems that use up to 20 times less water than conventional farming as well as enhanced glazing materials and electrical equipment to reduce overall energy demand. Based on the farm’s proximity to Whole Foods Market stores in New York City, the project will eliminate long distance food transport and its associated emissions, while ensuring product freshness, quality, and nutrition for thousands of customers in the area.
“Talk about local! This project takes the discussion from food miles to food footsteps,” said Viraj Puri, Gotham Greens co-founder. “Our greenhouse will provide Whole Foods Market shoppers with access to the freshest, most delicious leafy greens, herbs, and tomatoes year-round that will be grown right above the store’s produce department. We’re thrilled with this partnership and to be part of the growing national movement of farmers and food producers committed to providing consumers with high quality, responsibly produced food.”
The rooftop greenhouse will be fully operational at the time of the new Whole Foods Market opening and will create a variety of “green-collar” jobs and economic development opportunities in the Brooklyn area. Whole Foods Market also plans to offer educational opportunities for area students and local schools to learn about greenhouses, farming, and various environmental initiatives.
To watch a video about Gotham Greens and this greenhouse initiative, watch below.