ROCHELLE, Ill. (WIFR) - One Rochelle business is growing like a vine to meet the high demand for restaurants and retailers...
“When I bite into a MightyVine tomato it is like an out of body experience and it is that good," said Jason Anderson, Rochelle Economic Development Director.
Four years ago MightyVine set up shop in Rochelle/ The starting greenhouse covered nearly eight acres.
"We have learned a lot about the produce industry, we've learned a lot about working in a community like Rochelle and we have been very fortunate," said Gary Lazarski, MightyVine CEO.
Phase two came less than a year later which doubled the size of the MightyVine greenhouse.
"We've had great partners public partners as well as private partners working with us and we are just excited to keep growing tomatoes,"
On Friday MightyVine announced the completion of phase three and now the business can harvest nearly 23 acres of tomatoes.
"That allows us to better serve our local retailers whether it's Costco, Jewel, Whole Foods. Walmart and whoever is looking to buy our tomatoes for restaurants and it also gives us more flexibility in terms of our planning schedule," Lazarski said.
Last year MightyVine was able to produce nearly 8 million pounds of tomatoes. But now with the opening of phase 3, it will be able to produce nearly 12 million pounds of tomatoes.
"It's the distribution of this product that goes hundreds of miles away with the name Rochelle Illinois and I think the coolest thing that's gone on here is that MightyVines promotes Rochelle and Rochelle promotes MightyVine.
Phase four of the greenhouse complex is already in the works. There's no completion date yet but the foundation has been already installed.