ST. LOUIS—Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) today announced that Sunfarm Food Service has expanded its facility. The company invested $820,000 to relocate to a 20,000-square-foot facility near the North Riverfront Neighborhood, an expansion project that accommodates the creation of 15 new, high-paying jobs. The company also recently acquired local startup Farmplicity, expanding its reach throughout the St. Louis region.
“Sunfarm Food Service takes a truly unique approach to food distribution: combining agriculture and entrepreneurship, farming and fresh ideas,” said Mike Downing, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “At its heart, Missouri is an agricultural state, and it’s great to see companies like Sunfarm advance this important industry with its innovative solutions.”
Sunfarm Food Service has been a staple in St. Louis area food distribution since 1983. The family-owned wholesale company provides premium quality produce and specialty products to restaurants, caterers, hotels, golf courses, schools and other fine dining clients throughout the St. Louis region. Sunfarm Food Service offers conventional and organic produce and dairy from growers both locally and around the globe.
Farmplicity, founded by three Washington University students in 2013 and acquired by Sunfarm in April 2014, is an online marketplace that connects local farmers with chefs and restaurateurs. Prior to Farmplicity’s acquisition, farmers were responsible for delivering their products to restaurants who placed orders through the website. However, farmers now bring orders to Sunfarm’s distribution center, where each order will be checked for quality and sent to its respective restaurants. Having a single consolidation point for deliveries makes the delivery process more convenient and less expensive for farmers, some of whom live up to 150 miles outside of St. Louis. It also reduces the environmental impact of the service.
“Whether we’re sourcing Missouri-grown black walnuts or bringing you California avocados, Sunfarm Food Service is proud to be doing business here in St. Louis,” said Sunfarm Food Service President John Pollaci. “By embracing Farmplicity and its entrepreneurial solutions, we’ve been able to expand our services in Missouri. Considering the state’s pro-business climate, world-class workforce, and central geographic location, I can’t imagine a better place to grow our company.”
Sunfarm will host a grand opening event on August 3 at 4 p.m. at its new facility at 2427 N 9th St., St. Louis, Mo., 63102. The event will feature tutorials on how area farmers and restaurants can benefit from Sunfarm’s expanded services, including the Farmplicity website.
To assist Sunfarm Food Service with its expansion in St. Louis, the Department of Economic Development has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria.