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Great Lakes Growers – Always Growing Local

Over the years, we have established relationships with local family farms of all shapes and sizes, including an ever-growing network of more than 100 Amish farmers, that provide us with the best quality produce from right

Red Oakleaf Lettuce

Delicious, ruffled leaves play nicely with any salad.

down the road throughout the growing season.

But winter’s bitter temperatures and spring’s cool, wet conditions throughout the Great Lakes region limit the growing season to just a few precious months each year. This means that ‘locally grown’ and ‘year-round’ tend to be phrases that are rarely muttered in the same breath.

One place in Northeast Ohio where it’s peak growing season every day of the year is inside the Great Lakes Growers greenhouse in Burton, Ohio where they’re growing ultra-fresh greens and herbs 365 days per year. That means fresh, locally grown produce is arriving in our stores every week no matter the weather.

What started in a modest greenhouse, smaller in size than the average two car garage in 2011, has grown steadily into a state-of-the-art greenhouse facility covering over two acres and producing nearly 1.5 million heads of fresh living lettuce each year.

Green Butter Lettuce

Tender, sweet and ready-to-eat baby-sized leaves.

Growing sustainable, safe and great tasting greens has always been the goal of Great Lakes Growers’ founder John Bonner who continues to oversee day-to-day greenhouse operations and innovation. John is committed to conserving and protecting valuable natural resources in any way possible.

Much like traditional outdoor agriculture, water is the most crucial element to success. In order to keep all those plants healthy and thriving, a specialized water filtration system constantly treats and filters collected rainwater to a pure consumable state before it’s used. Excess water is recycled, re-filtered and re-distributed to plants on a continual basis. This system requires only a fraction of the amount of precious water that’s needed to grow crops in traditional outdoor farming.

Each and every plant is grown from certified non-gmo seeds in a strictly controlled environment that’s free from pests and weeds which means that harsh chemicals like herbicides or pesticides are never

Living Fresh Basil

Living Fresh Basil is as good for your health as it is for your taste buds.

used at any point in the growing process. There’s no dirt either, making for the cleanest possible greens in your shopping cart and on your plate. All of this results in superior tasting produce that’s better for both your body and the environment.

This impressive greenhouse harnesses the power the sun along with technology to create a suitable growing environment year-round, even in the harsh Northeast Ohio climate. The glass roof of this massive greenhouse is

equipped with automated vents and shades that help ensure ideal growing conditions 24 hours per day and low energy consumption.

Great Lakes Growers lettuces and herbs are delivered direct to each of our stores at the absolute peak of freshness with the root system intact and functioning. This means that you can expect them to stay fresh and tasty longer than traditional cut greens.

Look for Great Lakes Growers ultra-fresh living herbs like basil and cilantro and living butter and oakleaf lettuce at your neighborhood Heinen’s Grocery Store.

Take a peek inside the Great Lakes Growers greenhouse…


By Heinen's Produce Department
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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