MightyVine, the Rochelle-based hydroponic grower of tomatoes, plans to double the size of its operation once again to help meet increasing demand from large retailers like Costco, Walmart and Jewel-Osco, according to company executives.
Come September, construction will begin on two more 7.5-acre greenhouses in Rochelle, located about 80 miles west of Chicago, said MightyVine Chairman Jim Murphy. Once the $16 million project is complete, MightyVine will have four adjacent greenhouses totaling 30 acres that will produce about 105 million tomatoes a year, Murphy said. That represents the second major expansion for MightyVine since launching in 2015 to offer fresh, locally grown tomatoes year-round in the Chicago area.
“We can’t keep up with demand. … It’s hard to keep them in stores, so we have to build more,” Murphy said.