Lettuce-grower promises 200 new jobs in Pike

| 27 May 2015 | 12:49

— All Fresh Farms, LLC, an indoor hydroponic production and packaging operation that specializes in growing lettuce mixes, kales, and basil, will establish a new facility in Greene Township. The new business is expected to create at least 200 new jobs.

“All Fresh Farms chose the Commonwealth as the best location to support their business over other sites outside of the state, and I have no doubt that my budget as proposed will continue this momentum, paving the way for even more jobs that pay,” said PA Gov. Tom Wolf.

All Fresh Farms bought a 50,000-square-foot facility and expects to invest more than $3.4 million at the new site, with plans to double the size of the facility within the first five years of operation. In addition, All Fresh Farms has also pledged to create at least 200 new jobs over the next three years.

The company received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development, including a $400,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant, a $90,000 WEDnetPA grant, and $400,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits. All Fresh Farms was also encouraged to apply for a $500,000 First Industries Fund loan, administered through the Commonwealth Financing Authority, for machinery and equipment used in vegetable production and processing.

“We are excited about opening this facility in Pennsylvania and very impressed with the professionalism and interest shown by the Governor’s Action Team and the Department of Community and Economic Development,” said Steve Nelson, All Fresh Farms owner. “This strong welcome really solidified our decision to come to Pennsylvania. Our leafy vegetables and other produce will be labeled ‘locally grown’ as we deliver to markets within 400 miles which will include Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City. This is a great location with a great welcome to our company. We are looking forward to hiring and training employees this summer and hopefully selling our first crops by the fall.”

The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Pike County Economic Development Authority.

“This is an exciting time for Pike County,” said Pike County Commissioners Matthew Osterberg, Richard Caridi, and Karl Wagner. “Working with All Fresh Farms was a pleasure. It is firms like this that we are so proud to welcome into our community. This is especially true given their cutting-edge innovation and technology. As they move forward with their plan, this will mean employment for as many as 200 of our residents and an expanded economy for our county. The Pike County Economic Development Authority and the Pike County Commissioners thank the owners of All Fresh for their commitment to Pike County.”

By Heidi Schwartz, Group C Media