Kalera has turned farming on its head – literally. Based in Orlando, its team of science- and technology-driven horticulturists leverage cleanroom technology, artificial intelligence, the internet-of-things and data analytics to cultivate sustainably grown, fresh produce in vertical hydroponic farms.
Kalera’s co-founders came to Orlando in 2007 with the lofty goal of growing enough produce locally to feed the entire city. In 2018, they opened Kalera’s first hydroponic vertical farm, the HyCube at Orlando World Center Marriott.* The HyCube epitomizes farm-to-table dining, producing 200,000 heads of lettuce each year just a 20 feet away from the hotel kitchen, where guests enjoy lettuce and microgreens cultivated from the hydroponic vertical farm. It’s also eye-catching; through larger-than-life glass walls, visitors can see bright green lettuce peeking over the side of vertical towers stacked floor-to-ceiling. The entire structure is illuminated in a pink glow from red and blue lighting optimized to provide maximum plant yield and quality while minimizing energy costs.
Two successful years since the opening of HyCube, Kalera has now expanded its vision to feed even more residents across the entire city, state and beyond. In February 2020, the company took one step closer to achieving this vision with the opening of another farm in Orlando just northwest of Orlando International Airport – the largest indoor farm in the Southeastern U.S. The farm is expected to produce approximately 6 million heads of lettuce per year, exceeding the amount of lettuce produced annually in the HyCube farm by 30 times. To support these growing operations, Kalera CEO Daniel Malechuk is proud to make hiring local talent a top priority and has already hired graduates from the University of Florida, the University of Central Florida and Florida State University.