Vertical Roots, based in the Clements Ferry Road corridor, is expanding its operations to Atlanta. The move is part of a plan to position their indoor hydroponics container farms closer to food distributors.
Vertical Roots, the largest container farm in the United States, was founded locally by two high school friends, Andrew Hare and Matt Daniels. Their desire to provide healthy and safe produce to the local community started back in 2015 with a few ideas scrawled on a napkin.
Vertical Roots grows plants in a nutrient-rich, water-based solution inside recycled shipping containers. This type of indoor farming environment grows pesticide-free leafy greens 365 days of the year regardless of resources and climate.
Vertical Roots already had two other farming locations, in Charleston and Columbia, before opening its latest farm in June. The Atlanta operation puts Vertical Roots next to two of the largest produce distributors in the Southeast, giving the company the ability to deliver produce to area customers the same day it’s harvested. The new location also helps reduce transportation costs and decreases environmental impacts.
According to the company, every 320-square-foot shipping container farm can produce 500,000 heads of lettuce a year.
The expansion is an important part of Vertical Roots’ growth plan.
“While Charleston is our home base, Atlanta is a crucial next step in our company's growth as it's the first market we're entering outside of our home state of South Carolina,” Hare explained. "Our mission is to revolutionize the ways communities grow, distribute and consume food. With the demand for Vertical Roots hydroponic lettuce across the Southeast, expanding our footprint allows us to fulfill this mission and continue to provide our customers with fresh produce.”
Vertical Roots has plans to expand even further in the future.
“We have a lot on the horizon for Vertical Roots. Our goal is to continue growing our southeast presence and we look to expand with farms in Florida and other surrounding states in 2022 and beyond,” Hare stated.
The company remains grateful to the Lowcountry community where they first set down roots. “We'd like to send a big heartfelt thank you to the Daniel Island community. Vertical Roots would not be what it is today without the support of our local Daniel Island community,” Hare added.
The Charleston area will remain the company’s headquarters for both the manufacturing of indoor farms and technology, along with administrative resources. According to Hare the expansion is beneficial to the Lowcountry community. “The expansion will benefit the local Charleston community with the additional jobs we plan to begin recruiting for to support our expansion not only to Georgia, but across the Southeast.”
Vertical Roots offers a variety of leafy greens available in local grocery stores, including the Daniel Island and Clements Ferry Publix stores. The ability of Vertical Roots to get produce to consumers within one to three days of being harvested makes for some of the freshest produce available.
For more information, go to verticalroots.com.