Little Leaf Farms, a Massachusetts-based company, was looking for an area with a food processing industry reputation and direct access to key transportation routes to service major markets south of New England.
It found the ideal location to expand its production and open its first Pennsylvania greenhouse in Greater Hazleton, specifically McAdoo Industrial Park. Little Leaf Farms Founder and CEO Paul Sellew said Northeast PA’s food industry reputation was a key factor in the company’s decision.
“Northeast Pennsylvania really understands the needs of a growing food processing industry and we are proud to be part of this growing community,” Sellew said.
Lindsay Hardie, Vice President of Marketing for Little Leaf Farms, said having this new greenhouse within miles of Interstates 80 and 81 will allow the company to service other major markets more efficiently.
“The McAdoo area is a great location to access a number of major markets where we are growing. The NYC Metro area, Philadelphia and the entire Mid-Atlantic region are all growth markets for our company,” Hardie said. “Demand has quickly outpaced what we can grow in our New England greenhouses and, at the same time, grocers outside of New England have discovered our unique products and have expressed interest in distributing our lettuce in more locations throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.”
The company plans to build a greenhouse with a glass roof across 10 acres. Site work is underway and the greenhouse construction is expected to begin this summer with an anticipated opening in the first quarter of 2022.
The new highly-sophisticated facility will hydroponically grow lettuce products to be sold in grocery stores as part of the company’s effort to create a local, sustainable food source within a one-day drive of the area.
Sellew said CAN DO’s assistance throughout the site selection process was a valuable asset to the company. “Working with CAN DO has been extremely helpful as we navigate the purchase and construction of our new greenhouse site. Their knowledge of the region is unparalleled and they have been a valuable partner to us throughout the entire process.”