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Feb 13, 2024

“The more things change, the more they stay the same” would be an apt slogan for indoor farming pioneer Gotham Greens. 

Launched in 2011, the New York-based company operates a nationwide network of 13 high-tech hydroponic greenhouses and markets premium, hyper-local leafy greens, herbs, salad dressings, dips and cooking sauces. The products are sold at over 3,000 retail stores including Whole Foods, Kroger, Albertsons, Sprouts and The Fresh Market.

According to the company, Gotham Greens’ farms use up to 95% less water and 97% less land compared to conventional farming as a way to provide “sustainable supply chain solutions to its diverse retail and foodservice customers.” Investors have bet big on Gotham Greens’ business strategy and vision: since 2009, the company has raised $440 million, including a $330 Series E round that was announced in September 2022.  

The funding has helped Gotham Greens grow from a single urban rooftop greenhouse in Brooklyn to one of the largest hydroponic leafy green producers in North America. Yet while its operations evolve and footprint expands, Gotham Greens co-founder and CEO Viraj Puri says that the company remains rooted in its core principles and that his passion and conviction for the brand are as intense as ever.

In this podcast, recorded during a leadership event in Vail hosted by Gotham Greens investor Manna Tree, Viraj spoke about how he has maintained focus amid the company’s evolution, managing new and complex responsibilities as CEO, assessing when to step on the gas (and when to release the pedal),  and what he considers to be his biggest mistake and best decision.

Show notes:

0:43: Viraj Puri, Co-Founder & CEO, Gotham Greens – Viraj and Ray chatted about wearing beard nets and the entrepreneur’s weekly consumption of Gotham Greens products before he shared his perspective on how the company has grown since 2011. He also explained the impact of trust and hiring his evolution as a CEO, how he communicates belief and scaling potential to employees, incorporating investor input on business strategy and why retailer strategy is tied to the geographical location of Gotham Greens’ greenhouses. Viraj also discussed opportunities in foodservice and the company’s partnership with Sweetgreen and why he encourages group thought, but errs on the side of satisfying customers.

Brands in this episodeGotham Greens