With the completion of its Phase 3 greenhouse in fall of 2019, local tomato-grower MightyVine is harvesting 22.5 acres of premium-quality tomatoes. With this expansion, financed by Rabo AgriFinance, the hydroponic farm will now produce 10 million lbs./year of fresh tomatoes in their 1,000,0000 sq. Ft. state-of-the-art greenhouse. Driven by strong demand since its first harvest in October 2015, MightyVine employs 100 residents with competitive pay and benefits.
CEO of MightyVine, Gary Lazarski, noted that the Company has been selling tomatoes for just four years, but can’t keep up with the growing demand for its high-flavor varietals. “We’ve built a brand that consumers are asking for in restaurants and grocery stores all over the Midwest. Expansion is the only way to meet that demand” says Lazarski. He added, “Right now, we’ve got retailers who are upset that we can’t fill their orders. It’s a good problem to have, but one that needs to be addressed quickly.”
MightyVine has installed the foundation for Phase 4 of its greenhouse complex and is ready for still further expansion, which will fill the continued demand from current retail and foodservice partners like Costco, Whole Foods, Jewel, Walmart and Local Foods as well as leave room for growth with new buying partners.
The location of Rochelle and its welcoming approach to building businesses has been a strong factor in MightyVine’s growth. The company gratefully acknowledges the strong support of the City of Rochelle: Mayor John Bearrows, City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh, and Rochelle Municipal Utilities.
Mayor Bearrows expresses, "MightyVine is a great example of success through a public-private partnership. Having a local and responsive utility that can provide the necessary infrastructure to support the growth of our industries is a great advantage for businesses who choose to locate in Rochelle.” Bearrows added, The completion of Phase 3 is yet another success story of the innovation of MightyVine and the resourcefulness of Rochelle Municipal Utilities."
City Manager, Jeff Fiegenschuh states, "The City of Rochelle is pleased to have a corporate partner like MightyVine in our community. They provide quality jobs and the company is active and engaged in many local organizations. Our staff at the City of Rochelle looks forward to working with MightyVine to continue its growth for the future."