LANGHORNE, Pa. — McCaffrey's Markets here last week announced an arrangement with New York-based BrightFarms to build a greenhouse that will supply “ultra-local” produce to the location.
BrightFarms will finance, build and operate the greenhouse, while McCaffrey's will buy produce grown in the greenhouse, such as lettuces, tomatoes and herbs, as per a long-term purchase agreement, according to a release.
“Not only will the greenhouse allow us to continue providing to our customers the freshest and highest quality produce, but it also fits right into our company philosophy to make as small an impact on the environment as possible,” Jim McCaffrey, owner and chief executive officer of McCaffery's, said in the release.
BrightFarms has been in talks with several retailers to build one of its hydroponic greenhouses at or near their stores. The McCaffrey's arrangement is the company's first major deal, although company representatives have said that it has obtained letters of intent from 9 other retailers, and will soon make additional announcements.
“McCaffrey's has built its grocery business by knowing their customers better than anyone else,” Paul Lightfoot, chief executive officer of BrightFarms said in the release. “Demand is strongly increasing for locally grown, healthy and sustainable produce, and we are delighted to help McCaffrey's meet the demand.”
As SN reported last month, Brightfarms looks for stores with rooftop space of about one acre (43,000 square feet), and can build on a footprint of as little as 25,000 square feet. The larger greenhouses are expected to generate 500,000 pounds of vegetables annually to supply two or three stores in the immediate vicinity.