Among the North Fork’s farms and wineries, there has been a curious buzz about the renovated greenhouse on 30 acres at Sound Avenue and Horton Avenue in Riverhead. The vibrant colors and aromatics contained in this state-of-the-art building belong to Koppert Cress, a company that specializes in flavor packed microgreens and micro vegetables, which they deliver uncut and alive all year long for chefs, hotels, caterers and gourmet markets throughout the world.
Koppert Cress started in July 2002 in Monster, Netherlands, and in October 2006, the company launched its first franchise in the United States in Cutchogue, picked because of the amount of sun the hamlet gets each year.
So, when Nicolas Mazard, director of sales and marketing for Koppert Cress, invited me to tour their new greenhouse in Riverhead, I jumped. I met Nicolas on a very cold Friday morning at 8:00 a.m.; the sun was gleaming off the new glass. The beam of light was reflective of Nicolas’ pride in the expansion and the Koppert Cress products, which he calls “our children”.
Nicolas’ is of French decent and the combination of his studies is very unique. Having a degree in horticulture and in sales and merchandising, makes him a passionate farmer with a marketing mind. He started at Koppert Cress 10 years ago, came to the U.S. in 2006 and is now director of sales and marketing.
As we walked through the greenhouse, which is four times the size of the one in Cutchogue, Nicolas was happy to see his trial microgreens taking well to their new environment. He says, “Each plant is like a lady and has a different tolerance to the cold.”
The company is now the largest microgreen grower in United States, and the expansion, says Nicolas, will allow the company to hire more local workers.
As I was admiring the 30 acres where the new Koppert Cress greenhouse sits, I asked Nicolas, “Is this where you were thinking of hosting a farmers market?” He said, “Yes, imagine all the good we can do by lending a hand to our fellow farmers and community.”
Phone: 613.734.8500. website: usa.koppertcress.com
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