Urban greenhouse delivers to supermarket:

Ohio: Greenhouse Green City Growers to be opened

Green City Growers Cooperative, a worker-owned business, expects to harvest its first crops from one of the largest urban greenhouses in the country, a 3 1/4-acre hydroponic operation off East 55th Street in the city's Central neighborhood. Mary Donnell, chief executive officer of Green City, said she's had interest from potential customers, including Heinen's supermarkets and distributors who supply restaurants and food service operations in Northeast Ohio. Customers will be able to choose from green leaf, butterhead and red lettuces, and a variety of tender herbs.

"We'll be competitively priced," she said of goods normally shipped in from California and Arizona. Terry Romp, produce buyer for Heinen's, said he's been advising the startup and is eager to see -- and taste -- the end product.

"We told them that if it's good, and it's competitively priced, we'll buy it," he said. "It makes sense to buy food closer to home. It costs us $7,000 just to run a truck one way from California." The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University have also expressed an interest in buying from the new company, said Steven Standley, chief administrative officer for UH and chairman of the board of Evergreen Cooperative Corporation.

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