It wasn’t that long ago when Tim Ryan and John Bonner first built their modest 300-sq.-ft. greenhouse, marking the start of what has become one of the most popular lettuce and herb operations in the region. And now, just four years later, Great Lakes Growers is excited to announce the addition of another 25,000-sq.-ft. to its operation – bringing its total facility size today to 85,000-sq.-ft.
While many operations might be content with the status quo, Great Lakes has continued to grow over the years, with its newest addition enabling it to double unit capacity.
“Keeping up with consumer demand has really driven us to make this significant investment in our future. Our retail customer base is expanding daily, and we want to help them meet the demands of their customers. Increasing our physical footprint is a win-win situation, for sure,” states Great Lakes Growers co-founder, Tim Ryan.
Beyond customer demand, another driving force to Great Lakes’ expansion was the simple realization that different plants require different growing environments. “To maintain our high quality standards, we needed to make sure our plants were grown in the optimal environment,” states Bonner. “Some varieties of lettuce produce larger, higher quality yields when exposed to different light intensity. Some herbs grow stronger and more quickly with lower humidity levels. There’s a constant balance we need to maintain, and our new facilities will allow us to provide that kind of individual attention to our plants. Which will ultimately deliver a better product for our customers,” finishes Bonner.
Another area of growth for Great Lakes that will come as the result of its expansion is job growth. Since opening in 2011, Great Lakes has consistently added staff each year, with this newest initiative expected to increase full-time equivalents by nearly 70%.
“While were thrilled to be able to respond to customer demands for more products and a broader spectrum of products, we’re also very proud of the opportunity to hire additional staff from the local area that will help support the economics of our community,” confirms Bonner.
In the near future, Great Lakes Growers looks to employ 25 and hydroponically produce nearly 3 million heads of lettuce and herbs a year. Supplying grocers, wholesale clubs and restaurants with several varieties of what Great Lakes Growers calls “living lettuce” and “living herbs” (produce that still carries its roots for greater freshness, longevity and taste), Great Lakes is poised to continue its upward climb as the Midwest’s go-to source for fresh and nutritionally packed greens.
To find out more about Great Lakes Growers, or where you can stock up on your very own delicious Great Lakes Living Lettuce and Living Herbs, visit www.greatlakesgrowers.com.
Source: Great Lakes Growers