DEVENS, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As Little Leaf Farms rapidly expands from its Massachusetts base, doubling in size in 2020, and then into New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, Bank of America has stepped in with over $18 million of financing today, to be followed by another $20 million to help finance the company’s growth.
Little Leaf Farms, one of the best-selling packaged lettuces in New England, is producing over one million boxes of fresh greenhouse-grown baby green lettuce a month in Devens, Mass., delivered to every major supermarket chain in New England within 24 hours, year-round. When the company expands from five acres to 10 acres with the opening of a new greenhouse in May 2020 at Devens, production of the sustainably-grown lettuce – which is free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides – will double to two million boxes delivered to New York and New Jersey’s major supermarket chains.
Little Leaf Farms plans to break ground in the Eastern Pennsylvania region on a 20-acre greenhouse to supply stores locally, followed by another 20-acre greenhouse located in Western North Carolina. Each acre of greenhouse will yield 25 times that of lettuce grown on an outdoor farm.
“We are supportive of Little Leaf Farms’ efficient growing methods, using sunlight and captured rainwater, to grow delicious lettuce that only travels locally so it remains flavorful,” said Randy Mitchell, a Senior Vice President of Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America. “We believe in the company’s environmentally and socially responsible mission as they expand into new markets on the East Coast.”
Little Leaf Farms has pioneered a new and unique way to grow lettuce hydroponically. The company has incorporated many innovative features into its high-tech greenhouses, including using 100 percent captured rainwater and advanced fertilization and irrigation systems that use 90 percent less water than field-grown greens so there is no depletion of groundwater reserves.
With the world’s challenges in feeding a growing population in the era of increasing climate change, Little Leaf Farms has developed a model growing method that brings year-round sustainable farming to New England and the East Coast, lessening the reliance on West Coast-produced lettuce that is trucked thousands of miles across the country from California and Arizona.
Growing locally and shipping within 24 hours to local stores adds to the company’s efficiency. No human hands ever touch the lettuce as it’s grown safely, with less risk of contamination.
“Having Bank of America so solidly behind us as we expand into several new regions is critical to our momentum,” said Paul Sellew, CEO of Little Leaf Farms, which he founded in 2015. “Customers have really responded to our lettuces, saying we have the best, most flavorful product, and we are now the number one packaged lettuce in New England. The support of the Bank of America team is going to help us move forward all the more.”
About Little Leaf Farms
Paul Sellew had a vision for New England – a locally grown salad that was available year-round. Realizing the opportunity to revolutionize the West Coast-dominated lettuce industry, Paul took to designing the most sustainable technology for growing lettuce in New England. In Fall 2015, Paul was joined by Tim Cunniff, and Little Leaf Farms® broke ground on the first phase of their 10-acre greenhouse development and began to line up customers.
Today, Little Leaf Farms® is proud to have built the most technologically-advanced, lettuce growing greenhouse in the world. And Paul and Tim are excited to share with you the freshest, best tasting baby lettuces available in New England. Little Leaf Farms® lettuce can be found at a variety of natural, specialty and traditional grocers, throughout the northeast.