Indoor farming firm in Goochland plans greenhouse expansion

A Goochland-based greenhouse hopes to kick off an expansion of its facilities around this time next year. Greenswell Growers, which operates an indoor farming facility at West Creek Business Park, wants to build two more greenhouses on its 30-acre property. It plans to break ground on the expansion no earlier than July 2023, co-founder Chuck Metzgar said in an interview this week.

Metzgar said the new facilities would be identical to the company’s existing 77,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse, which it opened last year and is on track to grow about 3.7 million pounds of produce over its first three years of operation.

Construction of the new greenhouses is expected to take about 12 months. Metzgar declined to provide the project’s cost. The company has previously said its current greenhouse, which is also its headquarters, cost $17 million.

“You spend a huge amount of money to get this started, but when you replicate it, your costs go down on average,” Metzgar said. The company has a dozen employees at its facility at 1343 Hockett Road and expects to grow its workforce with the expansion.

Carl Gupton, Greenswell’s president, said the company’s business is about evenly split between food service buyers, such as restaurants and grocery stores. That includes both local markets and larger chains.

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