Case Studies Plenty
Plenty Puts Down Roots in Virginia with World’s Largest Vertical Farm Campus
The Future of Agriculture
Plenty Unlimited Inc. is an indoor vertical farming technology company capable of growing clean produce year-round, anywhere in the world. Plenty is changing the agriculture game by taking the variables out of farming and using indoor technology to create peak season-quality produce with up to 350x more yield per acre than conventional farms.
Founded in 2014, Plenty’s proprietary approach preserves the world’s natural resources, makes healthy produce available to all communities, and creates resilience in our food systems against weather, location, pests, and climate. Plenty operates the largest-of-its-kind indoor plant science research facility in Laramie, Wyoming, and is currently building the world's most advanced vertical indoor farm in Compton, California.
The controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry has taken off in recent years, and Plenty began looking to expand its footprint to the East Coast, requiring ample space, a skilled workforce pipeline, and proximity to an agro-tech ecosystem to make it a reality. As the Plenty team searched for the next hub for hydroponics, the company narrowed its search to Virginia to plant its next campus.
The Virginia Solution
A Recipe for Success
CEA companies have called Virginia home for years, attracted to the Commonwealth's diverse ecosystem of partners and suppliers for food and beverage processors, numerous universities and research centers, and a notable abundance of natural resources. Virginia’s central East Coast location also enables companies to efficiently access major U.S. economic hubs—located within a one-day drive of nearly half of the nation’s consumers, Virginia offers companies a single gateway into critical customer markets along the affluent Northeast corridor, across the high-growth Southeast, and throughout the Midwest.
Chesterfield County’s well-established Meadowville Technology Park is home to an Amazon fulfillment center and a Capital One data center, among other tenants. It expanded its footprint in 2020 when the Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority purchased property that was formerly part of an 800-acre American Tobacco cigarette plant site. Virginia could offer Plenty up to 120 acres at this technology park near the thriving metro area of Richmond for its East Coast campus.
The region boasts 33,000 local manufacturing workers and proximity to more than 20 colleges and universities and is renowned for its ability to attract and retain top talent. The Chesterfield site also enables convenient access to nearby major Interstates 85 and 95, as well as The Port of Virginia’s Richmond Marine Terminal and its larger coastal facilities in the Hampton Roads region.
Ripe for Growth
After looking at five other states and considering a number of locations, Plenty selected Chesterfield County to establish the world’s largest indoor vertical farming campus—a $300 million investment that will create more than 300 full-time jobs. The Plenty Richmond Farm Campus marks the company’s expansion beyond the U.S. West Coast and aims to bring fresh, healthy produce to the East Coast year-round.
Plenty plans to complete its Richmond Farm Campus in multiple phases over the next six years. The first farm on this site, a dedicated Driscoll’s berry farm, will be the first to grow indoor, vertically farmed strawberries at scale. The campus is designed to grow more than 4 million pounds of strawberries annually, helping to meet increasing demand for flavorful, fresh berries in the Northeast—the largest berry consumption region in the U.S. Plenty broke ground in April 2023 and the first crop of Driscoll’s strawberries grown onsite will be available in winter 2023-2024 at retailers throughout the Northeast.