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New salad concept to open in The Grove will grow its own lettuce on site

Neon Groves will open this summer in The Grove and grow its own lettuce.
Credit: Neon greens
Neon Greens will open at 4176 Manchester Ave in The Grove this summer.

ST. LOUIS — A first-of-its-kind, quick-service salad concept that grows its own lettuce on-site using vertical farms, will open at 4176 Manchester Ave in The Grove this summer.

The idea for the restaurant, named Neon Greens, came to owner Josh Smith amid the supply chain snarls of the pandemic, according to a press release announcing the project.

As it became harder to source certain products, Smith started thinking about where his food was coming from and what might happen to its availability. This led to him deciding to grow his own produce, beginning with a small hydroponic growing kit that allows plants to grow without soil.

One month later, Smith had purchased industrial farming equipment, set up a grow house with more than 100 plants and began developing the idea for Neon Greens, he said in the release.

Throughout the pandemic, restauranteurs' buying habits changed due to supply chain disruptions. Charlie Downs, a restauranteur whose portfolio of restaurants includes the Hi-Pointe Drive-In and Sugarfire Smokehouse fast-casual chains, said scarcity caused him to buy whatever he could hands on. This resulted in an inflated shopping list of more than 700 different products, almost three times more than the number of products he’s looking to buy this year.

Click here for the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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