US: Local vertical farming startup starting to scale

Ellicottville Greens CEO Gabe Bialkowski knew he had a quality product in a hot industry. The question was how to cost-effectively import his company’s shipping container-based vertical farms into other markets.

Some vertical farming startups are raising gobs of venture capital to support the capital-intensive rollout of their operations on a much bigger scale. Ellicottville Greens plans to make community-based partners, then become the operating side of their local indoor farming operations.

“We’re the farm management company that will come in, design the farm, build it out and manage it entirely,” Bialkowski said. “The community partner is the one who lives in that community, who is looking to bring a farm there and wants to have a hands-off role in implementing it in their city.”

That model will begin in Ellicottville Greens’ home region. The company is will establish a vertical farming operation on a site in the Broadway-Fillmore district on Buffalo’s East Side in August. The site already has a community partner, its own brand, and locally based food distributors who have committed to buying its output.

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