The company said this was the equivalent of four million burgers a month. It is a big step up from the company’s small factory in New Jersey, and the new 67,000sq ft plant will require Impossible Foods to hire 80 new staff.
A new senior vice-president of supply chain and manufacturing, Chris Gregg, has already been brought in to oversee the build of the factory. Gregg has experience in large consumer product goods companies, including roles with Del Monte, Bare Snacks and Babyganics.
Gregg will oversee Impossible Food’s build-out of the Oakland site, which Impossible Foods described as a “state-of-the-art” modernisation of a factory formerly owned by bakery company Just Desserts.
The Oakland facility was picked because it is close to the company’s HQ in Silicon Valley, the home of the world’s largest tech companies, including Apple, Google and Facebook.
Impossible Foods also counts some of the biggest names associated with Silicon Valley as its investors, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Google Ventures.
A burger to transform the planet
“Our mission to transform the global food system is urgent, and the opportunity is huge, so we are embarking on one of the most ambitious scale-ups of any start-up in the food industry,” said Impossible Foods CEO and founder Patrick O Brown.
“Our goal is to make delicious, sustainable, nutritious and affordable meat for everyone, as soon as possible.”
Impossible Foods has claimed its plant-based burger is the only one in the world that looks, cooks, smells and tastes like beef derived from cows.
No animals are killed to make the burger. As they use 75% less water, generate 87% fewer greenhouse gases and use less land than conventional operations, Impossible Foods claimed the burger satisfied rising meat demand without a destructive effect on climate change.
Eight high-end restaurants in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles already sell the revolutionary burger. Impossible Foods will be able to supply more than 1,000 restaurants when the factory is built.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said she was thrilled the city would benefit from a thrust of innovation to the local food scene.
“As a city with a long and rich manufacturing tradition and a proud history of leading social, environmental and economic justice movements, I’m thrilled to welcome a leading-edge company like Impossible Foods to Oakland,” said Schaaf.
“Their new facility will add to the fabric of Oakland’s industrial corridor in East Oakland, bringing job opportunities for our residents and greater sustainability and innovation to our local and global food systems.”