Chefs around the world want to create meals using the freshest and finest ingredients. They’re willing to pay a high price for them, but it gets a little tougher for chefs in Manhattan to source these fresh ingredients in New York’s cold winter. It’s even harder for local farmers to supply them. The logistics of transporting fresh produce into the city from farms in the countryside becomes a nightmare in the middle of winter, but one entrepreneur saw this as a great opportunity.

Robert Laing, the CEO of Farm.One came up with a creative solution for getting his fresh ingredients year round. He transformed the basement of a local restaurant into a thriving hydroponic growing business. Robert wanted to maximize growing space in the small basement and get rid of wasted aisle space between the growing racks so he reached out to the storage experts at Spacesaver. Working with local Spacesaver team, they came up with a solution that used the ActivRAC Mobilized Storage System. The ActivRAC is available in stainless steel which is perfect for humid environments. “It gave us about 30% more space in the room, which is obviously a really big deal for us,” he said. “It’s a beautiful piece of engineering.”

Farm.One grows between 100 to 200 different types of high-value herbs and microgreens year-round. It uses proprietary automated systems for lighting and irrigation that are built into the vertical growing solution and uses natural pest control methods to keep the plants healthy without the use of artificial fertilizers or pesticides. The hydroponic farm is located in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood which is about 20 minutes away from most of the restaurants that it supplies.

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