Whole Foods Market® and Gotham Greens to build nation’s first commercial-scale rooftop greenhouse above Brooklyn store
New York-based greenhouse operator expands production of year-round produce by opening above Gowanus store in late-2013
New York, NY (April 1, 2013) — Whole Foods Market is proud to announce Gotham Greens as 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 Gowanus, Brooklyn, is scheduled to open later this fall. Gotham Greens will grow premium quality, pesticide-free produce year round in the greenhouse for Whole Foods Market Gowanus, 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.
Gotham Greens was approached by Whole Foods Market for this project, due to its unparalleled position as the industry leader in urban and rooftop greenhouses in the country in addition to its high quality produce offerings from its current farm location in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
“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, please visit: darkrye.com/content/gotham-greens-feature.
About Gotham Greens
Gotham Greens (gothamgreens.com) is a New York City based agribusiness that builds and operates commercial scale greenhouse facilities in urban areas for fresh vegetable production. Since commencing production in early 2011, Gotham Greens has quickly become one of New York State’s leading producers of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown vegetables and herbs. Gotham Greens’ pesticide-free produce is currently grown in technologically-sophisticated, climate-controlled rooftop greenhouses in Brooklyn, NY. Gotham Greens provides its retail, restaurant, and institutional customers with reliable, year-round supply of premium-quality produce grown under the highest standards of food safety and environmental sustainability.
Executive Vice President, Operations
In her role, Christina Minardi is a member of the executive leadership team and oversees four of the company’s 12 regions, which includes more than 180 stores spanning the eastern seaboard. She is also responsible for co-leading Amazon integration, supporting real estate strategy, driving culinary innovation within prepared foods and in-store venues, re-imagining the customer experience and growing e-commerce initiatives, among other critical store and regional programs.