Gormley, Ontario-based Greenbelt Microgreens has experienced significant growth since receiving a Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence last year.
In May the company purchased a 3.5-acre greenhouse in Woodhill, Ontario, and it has also started growing in a 2-acre greenhouse in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, to supply local organic microgreens to Whole Foods and Loblaws on the west coast of Canada.
Greenbelt currently has 6.5 acres of total production and has partnered with 35 Longos stores, 150 Sobeys stores, 150 Metro stores and 50 Loblaws stores. It will soon make its first shipment from the Maple Ridge facility, where it began production in June, to Whole Foods, another retailer that carries Greenbelt products.
The company plans to serve the Ontario area with its Gormley and Woodhill locations, and Maple Ridge will cover British Columbia, Alberta and possibly Seattle.
Customer feedback has been very positive to this point, said vice president Michael Curry.
“We are opening a new retail produce category, and the consumer has been delighted with the unique/intense flavor and nutritional profile of microgreens,” Curry said. “Our goal is to introduce microgreens as a salad/lettuce alternative.”
The company is currently working on automating its soil mixing, seeding, growing, watering and harvesting system, a transformation expected to be completed in October. Equipment for that effort has been arriving from Europe throughout the last six months, Curry said.