Ahead of the Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit in New York, we spoke to Brendan Somerville, Co-Founder & COO at Oishii about the company’s journey in the indoor agtech space. 

What are the next emerging crops or markets you plan to explore?
We have our sights set on adding other crops to our roster including tomatoes and melons and bringing a differentiated tasting experience to our consumers. While the strawberry market is massive on a global scale (valued at over $30B!), we’re looking forward to unlocking an even larger market with additional fruits and vegetables that leverage our core technology to bring cleaner, fresher produce to all communities.

What are the biggest challenges you’re facing?
We simply cannot meet the demand for our amazing Omakase Berries. We have retailers and consumers across the United States and the world asking for us to expand into their markets, so the pressure is on! Since the industry is still quite new, we have to roll up our sleeves ourselves and we’ve been able to be one of the few commercial-scale indoor vertical strawberry farms in the world. It’s a competitive advantage though, as we are building in-house capabilities and full control of our process from building farms to growing plants to distributing products. Oishii is growing rapidly to meet demand and we’re recruiting people with a similar passion and motivation to bring indoor vertical farming to a commercial scale across the industry.

What does a successful roadmap to national and international expansion look like for you?
Our sole goal is to make fresh, quality, pesticide-free produce that also tastes exceptionally good and available to everyone around the world as quickly as possible. We are taking a similar approach to Tesla not just with strawberries but with all crops on our roadmap. Our berries are currently available in New York City, parts of New Jersey, and Los Angeles. But we’re focused on building near major global population centers first and distributing our products locally so it’s always the freshest strawberry available.

Where do you plan to be in the next 3-5 years?
In the next 3-5 years, I envision Oishii as a globally recognized leader in the indoor vertical farming industry and a global brand associated with cultivating the best product quality possible. With having large-scale farm systems growing several different types of crops in major global markets, we will have (hopefully) accomplished our mission of reshaping consumers’ expectations of fresh produce and how it should truly taste and look like – the most important of Oishii’s priorities.

Join Brendan’s panel discussion on ‘Beyond Leafy Greens & Herbs: Reaching More Markets Through Crop Diversity’ at 9.40am EST on June 24. 

For more information about Oishii, please follow them on Instagram.