Little Leaf Farms, Devens, Mass., received $18 million in financing from Bank of America, Charlotte, N.C., to double in size in 2020, and expand outside of Massachusetts into New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
Little Leaf Farms produces over 1 million boxes of fresh greenhouse-grown baby green lettuce a month to major supermarket chains in New England year-round. When the company expands from five acres to 10 acres with the opening of a new greenhouse in May 2020, production of the sustainably-grown lettuce will double to 2 million boxes delivered to major supermarket chains in New York and New Jersey.
Little Leaf Farms also plans to break ground in the Eastern Pennsylvania region on a 20-acre greenhouse to supply stores locally, followed by another 20-acre greenhouse 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,” says Randy Mitchell, 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.”
“Having Bank of America so solidly behind us as we expand into several new regions is critical to our momentum,” says Paul Sellew, chief executive officer of Little Leaf Farms. “Customers have really responded to our lettuces, saying we have the best, most flavorful product, and we are now the No. 1 packaged lettuce in New England. The support of the Bank of America team is going to help us move forward all the more.”