COMMERCE ASKED SOME OF New Jersey’s top professional services firms about their most unusual clients and we learned of an indoor, vertical vegetable farm in urban Newark; a luxury spa and resort for dogs; and stables that produced American Pharoah, the horse that won the Belmont Stakes and became the 12th Triple Crown winner in racing history. Here are the stories behind these and other offbeat businesses that followed their own paths to commercial success, thanks to the support and advice of their accountants, attorneys and bankers.
McCarter & English, LLP
By David F. Broderick, Esq.,
My most unusual business client is AeroFarms, which is blazing a trail in the incipient field of commercial, indoor vertical farming. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, AeroFarms grows organic leafy greens in half the time or less of traditional farming methods, without the need for pesticides or other artificial additives. AeroFarms is in the process of building the world’s largest vertical indoor farm in a former steel foundry in Newark’s Ironbound section. It will grow produce in urban consumers’ backyards— figuratively speaking—and give many their first exposure to just-picked greens. AeroFarms’ produce will be superior in taste and nutrition to vegetables that were harvested weeks earlier and shipped cross-country, not to mention more environmentally friendly. Once completed, the Newark facility will deliver to supermarkets, restaurants and other consumers throughout New Jersey and the region. McCarter & English has advised AeroFarms on various legal issues since its formation, including intellectual property protection, real estate, venture capital financing, employment and other areas of law. We have introduced AeroFarms to key people in business and government who are interested in such beneficial green technology. It has been an extremely rewarding experience for AeroFarms and McCarter & English.