Scout Cold Logistics Center in East Greenwich, as depicted in this spring 2020 construction photo, features 332,000 square feet of cold storage and industrial space. — Courtesy: Scout Capital Partners
By Joshua Burd
A meal kit delivery service has leased more than 230,000 square feet of new industrial space in Gloucester County, as it expands its footprint and looks to meet growing customer demand.
The operator, Freshly, expects to move into the space at 450 Swedesboro Ave. in East Greenwich by next February and will use the property for its second assembly and distribution facility in New Jersey. It will occupy 234,000 square feet under a lease with Scout Capital Partners, which acquired the overall 332,000-square-foot property as it was under construction last summer.
“With Freshly’s corporate headquarters located in New York City, we’re excited to expand our footprint in the region and continue our growth in the Garden State,” Freshly Founder and CEO Mike Wystrach said. “The addition of a new facility of this size will bring hundreds of new jobs to East Greenwich and allow us to significantly scale our meal production to move us closer to the goal of being in every household in America. We are thankful for our partnership with (Gov. Phil Murphy) and his team for their leadership in assisting us with this significant expansion of our company.”
According to a news release, Freshly will use the space to meet growing customer demand, reduce the order-to-delivery cycle time to consumers and ultimately create 340 incremental jobs in the area. It will be the company’s largest distribution center.
Freshly will continue to operate its existing facility in Linden, which employs 70 people.
“We are thrilled that Freshly has decided to expand its operations in New Jersey,” Murphy said. “South Jersey is the perfect place for a leading provider of fresh, healthy prepared meals to open another facility. We have seen how important food delivery services have become during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we look forward to working with Freshly to support its growth, as well as bring new jobs to the region.”
The news follows Nestlé USA’s acquisition of Freshly last October and a year of major growth for the company. In recent months, the meal kit service opened new facilities in Commerce, California, and Austell, Georgia, to increase production and order fulfillment capacity, the company said, noting that it currently ships more than 1 million meals per week to customers in 48 states.
“Freshly is leading the way in delivering fresh meals directly to customers, and South Jersey is a hub for food and beverage innovation,” said Jose Lozano, CEO and president of Choose New Jersey. “New Jersey companies can reach 38 million consumers within a two-hour drive, and with this new facility, Freshly is well-positioned to take advantage of everything our state has to offer. Choose New Jersey is excited that Freshly is opening up a second location in New Jersey, creating new jobs that will provide a major boost to the local and regional economy.”