Central Market Rethinking Fresh Produce With Farming Venture

The Dallas-based grocer is the first to own and operate an onsite container farm.


Dallas-based Central Market is looking to rethink what “fresh” produce means in the grocery industry. 

Beginning in May, the grocery chain’s location at Lovers Lane and Greenville Avenue in Dallas will have fresh, leafy greens available for customers to purchase. 

These aren’t just any greens. The produce is being grown right behind the store in a 53-foot long shipping container, according to The Dallas Morning News

“We’re the first grocery store to own and operate our own container farm onsite,” Chris Bostad, Central Market’s director of procurement, merchandising, and marketing, told the Morning News.

The four-level vertical farm is nurturing a variety of greens in a controlled environment from butter lettuce and spring mix to Thai basil and wasabi arugula.

Central Market began developing the farm idea about a year ago in partnership with Bedford-based horticulture supply store Hort Americas and Dallas-based indoor farming investors CEA Advisors LLC, according to the newspaper. 

“We’re the first grocery store to own and operate our own container farm onsite.”

Chris Bostad 

The container that the greens grow in has been worked on for several years by Texas A&M researchers and Glenn Behrman, owner of CEA Advisors.

“Technology has advanced so that a retailer can safely grow food. Three to five years ago, we couldn’t have built this thing,” Behrman told the Morning News

The Dallas store will be the pilot store for the new venture, but Marty Mika, Central Market’s business development manager for produce, told the newspaper he foresees the potential for more. 

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