BERKELEY, CA — UPSIDE Foods (formerly Memphis Meats), the company in the cultivated meat, poultry and seafood industry announced Nov. 4 the completion of its Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC). The 53,000-square-foot campus located in Emeryville, CA is the most advanced cultivated meat production facility in the world. It is designed to produce any species of meat, poultry, and seafood — in both ground and whole cut formats — directly from animal cells instead of relying on raising and slaughtering animals. The opening represents a major milestone in UPSIDE's journey to bring real, delicious meat to the world in a more humane and sustainable way.
EPIC, which contains custom-made, patented cultivators, can produce over 50,000 pounds of finished product, with a future capacity of over 400,000 pounds per year. Located in an urban area filled with residences and restaurants, it establishes meat production as a proud part of the community and will enable neighbors and the public to see first-hand how cultivated meat is made. Today, UPSIDE is celebrating this historic accomplishment in a virtual grand opening ceremony.
Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods said, "When we founded UPSIDE in 2015, it was the only cultivated meat company in a world full of skeptics. When we talked about our dream of scaling up production, it was just that — a dream. Today, that dream becomes a reality. The journey from tiny cells to EPIC has been an incredible one, and we are just getting started."
At the state-of-the-art Innovation Center UPSIDE will develop new product formats, types of meat, and production processes. At full capacity, EPIC will employ approximately 50 UPSIDERs in roles across production, maintenance, quality & food safety, engineering, and general plant management.
"Today, our team at UPSIDE has made history," said Dr. Konrad Müller-Auffermann, Senior Director of Engineering at UPSIDE. "This facility is a gamechanger not just for UPSIDE Foods, but also for the entire food system. I'm so proud of our team for helping to define the future of food, and I can't wait to share our delicious, real meat with the world. "
EPIC also includes industry-leading quality assurance facilities, where products are tested to ensure safety and quality. Like all meat and poultry facilities in the US, it includes an office for federal inspectors to oversee the process. EPIC has areas to mill and mix the cell feed and to formulate, package and test products, a modern kitchen for tastings, and office and conference spaces for the UPSIDE staff.
The opening of EPIC is the latest in a series of developments as UPSIDE prepares to bring its products to consumers. Earlier this year, the company rebranded from Memphis Meats to UPSIDE Foods, announced investment from John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods and a partnership with three Michelin Star chef Dominique Crenn, and brought on veterans of the food, biotech and technology industries including Amy Chen (Chief Operating Officer) and Kyle Vogt (Board Member). Most recently, they hired Dr. Bob Kiss, who has over three decades of industrial biotechnology experience, as Executive Vice President of Technology.
The first consumer tours of the facility will occur in January 2022.
Based in Berkeley, CA, UPSIDE Foods is reimagining meat for the 21st century — developing new delicious new sources of meat, fish, and poultry that also address environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and public health concerns. By cultivating meat directly from animal cells, without the need to raise or slaughter animals, the company released the world's first cultivated meatball in February 2016 and the world's first cultivated poultry in March 2017. It aims to bring to the market delicious, real meat that is significantly better for the environment, animals, and public health, while claiming a share of the $1.4 trillion global market for meat. UPSIDE Foods has raised over $200 million, including a $186 million series B round.