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We Know Our Sources: Buckeye Fresh

Lettuce growing in a greenhouse with purple lights

As people living in the Midwest, we’ve become accustomed to unpredictable weather. In fact, it’s not uncommon to have our winter coats near our summer sandals. Although people can easily adjust to dramatic changes in weather by adding or shedding layers, it’s a little more complicated for a grocery store.

Since our beginning in 1929, we have strived to “find the best to sell the best.” If you’ve stopped by our Produce Department, you’ve likely noticed that a lot of our produce comes from farms right in our own backyard, but what happens when temperatures drop unexpectedly, or the snow begins to fall in November and sticks around until April? We don’t have to worry because our Midwest indoor farmers have us covered with their state-of-the art growing facilities that provide our favorite produce at peak freshness year-round.

Buckeye Fresh Lettuce

Over time, we’ve partnered with a variety of indoor Midwest growers, like the Buckeye state’s own Buckeye Fresh. Located in Medina, Ohio, Buckeye Fresh defines the idea that fresh perspectives are always welcome in any business.

When we say fresh perspective, we mean that the Buckeye Fresh team came to the indoor farming industry with little-to-no background in farming at all. In fact, owners, Tim Remington, Kim Hookway and Corey Remington pull most of their experience from the manufacturing industry. Yet, with a combined passion for sustainable growing, their vertical farm has become a premium source of Midwest-grown lettuce for Heinen’s.

Buckeye Fresh is surely unique for its entrance into the indoor farming industry, but when visiting their facility, we quickly learned that their strategy for growing lettuce is what sets them apart. Unlike a traditional greenhouse where produce spans rows as far as the eye can see, Buckeye Fresh grows their lettuce in columns going upwards. This method is called vertical growing, and with the help of LED lights, continuously recycled water and absolutely no pesticides, this system is engineered to provide plants with everything they need to flourish during their 17-21 day growing cycle.

Buckeye Fresh Lettuce

Today, Buckeye Fresh has 40 vertical planting systems in operation growing both conventional and organic lettuce. On top of this, they hope to expand further into research and development to create more new products.

Although their sights are set high (literally) they keep their team small and work to manage, grow, harvest and hand-package all of the Buckeye Fresh produce that you see in our stores.

Buckeye Fresh Lettuce

For coming into the indoor farming business with little experience, it’s safe to say that the Buckeye Fresh team has turned their fresh perspective on growing into something truly valuable. For nearly 10 years, they have provided pristine lettuce directly to our stores year-round, helping us keep our “buy the best to sell the best” philosophy alive, even in the unpredictable Midwest weather.

By Heinen's Grocery Store
In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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