Whole Foods has announced that it will soon be opening its long-awaited Gowanus store. In addition to putting the usual organic and artisan products on it shelves, the new location at 214 3rd Street will bring the local food trend to new heights with a 20,000 square foot rooftop farm right on top of the building.
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It doesn't get more local than that!
In a recently announced collaboration with Gotham Greens - a Greenpoint-based rooftop farm that only sells produce within 15 miles of its location - the two will operate the nation’s first commercial-scale greenhouse farm above the store, which is slated to open as early as late fall of 2013. When complete, the new farm will eliminate the need for high-emissions food transportation and reduce energy consumption to the few steps it takes workers to walk produce from upstairs to downstairs.
“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 two organizations are calling the endeavor the first commercial-scale greenhouse farm and say that it will help reduce the carbon emissions spent on transporting food from far away sources. The elevated greenhouse will grow high-quality, pesticide-free produce all year round to be sold at the bustling supermarket below.
Creating Green Jobs
Businessweek reported earlier this year that Gotham Greens was the only rooftop greenhouse in New York City to produce vegetables on a commercial sale. When Superstorm Sandy halted much of food delivery operation into the city as a result of the damage, Gotham was the only farm able to deliver fresh food to Whole Foods stores. Plans for the opening include creation a hub for green collar jobs and economic development opportunities in the borough. The new location also plans to serve as a hub for educational opportunities for local schools to learn about agriculture, farming and environmental initiatives.