With the completion of its Phase 3 greenhouse in fall of 2019, Chicago-area tomato grower MightyVine is harvesting 22.5 acres of premium-quality tomatoes. The expansion, built by VB Group and financed by Rabo AgriFinance, has been driven by strong demand since the company’s first harvest in October 2015.
CEO of MightyVine, Gary Lazarski, noted that the Company has been selling tomatoes for just four years, but can’t keep up with the increasing demand for its high-flavor varietals. “We’ve built a brand that consumers are asking for in restaurants and grocery stores all over the Midwest. Expansion is the only way to meet that demand” says Lazarski. “Right now, we’ve got retailers who are upset that we can’t fill their orders. It’s a good problem to have, but one that needs to be addressed quickly.” The additional acreage will help fill purchase orders from retail partners like Costco, Whole Foods, Jewel, Mariano’s, and Walmart. Chicago foodservice distributor Local Foods continues to grow MightyVine’s restaurant and foodservice business while Robinson Fresh helps to drive sales to select retail accounts.
MightyVine Director of Sales Danny Murphy is relieved to see the additional acreage come online: “Locally-grown, sustainable, high-quality produce is a hot commodity. Once folks try our tomatoes, they become loyal customers. Retail buyers are responding enthusiastically to the increased movement they see in sales.”
MightyVine has installed the foundation for Phase 4 of its greenhouse complex and plans still further expansion in the coming year.