Martha Stewart-Backed Indoor Farming Company Files for Bankruptcy

The company had faced concerns about its cash flow and the potential foreclosure of a Virginia greenhouse.

AppHarvest greenhouse, Morehead, Ky.
AppHarvest greenhouse, Morehead, Ky.

MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — AppHarvest, a Kentucky-based indoor farming company that was backed by Martha Stewart when it began shipping tomatoes in early 2021, has filed for bankruptcy, officials announced on Monday.

The Chapter 11 filing on Sunday came following several months of financial difficulties, including the potential foreclosure of its greenhouse in Richmond and concerns about cash flow, news outlets reported. In addition, AppHarvest Founder Jonathan Webb was replaced earlier this month as chief executive officer and chairman of the board.

The company said in a statement that it is looking to restructure while business operations continue at its four farms.

"The AppHarvest board of directors and executive leadership evaluated several strategic alternatives to maximize value for all stakeholders prior to the Chapter 11 filing," said AppHarvest CEO Tony Martin. "The Chapter 11 filing provides protection while we work to transition operation of our strategic plan, Project New Leaf, which has shown strong progress toward operational efficiencies resulting in higher sales, cost savings and product quality."

The company had over $609 million in assets and over $341 million in debts at the end of March, according to filings in bankruptcy court.

The Morehead-based company, one of many players in the fast-growing field of indoor farming, began shipping beefsteak tomatoes to Kroger, Walmart, Publix and other grocers in early 2021.

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