The land, buildings, and business sustaining a substantial hydroponic spray free herb and lettuce operation - which supplies national consumers and grocery retailers - have been placed on the market for sale.
The property behind the hydroponic operation branded as Thymebank, located in Marlborough consists of some 5,500 square metres of tunnel house growing operations located on 1.2 hectares of land - situated amidst some of the region’s foremost Sauvignon Blanc vineyards and wineries.
Thymebank’s growing infrastructure consists of nine single-skin sawtooth structures and five twin-skin Supermaxi growing spaces.
Thymebank’s sheltered location well away from the main road is bordered on three sides by tall mature trees – offering a degree of natural protection to wind and adverse weather conditions while simultaneously allowing maximum sunlight hours above the growing complex.
The freehold land and buildings supporting Thymebank at 31 Hammerichs Road in Rapaura, in conjunction with the lettuce and herb growing activity as a going concern business, are now being marketed for sale through Colliers Marlborough. Sales director Andy Poswillo said Thymebank’s highly professional growing, harvesting, packaging, and distribution activities employ seven full-time staff on a five-day week schedule.
Mr Poswillo said that while various lettuce varieties accounted for the bulk of Thymebank’s salad crop production, the property also produced associated salad and garnish crops such as spinach, rocket, mesclun, coriander, basil, chervil, mint, chives, parsley, dill, watercress, thyme, sage, rosemary, and lemon verbena.
“The proven growing model of Thymebank’s operations means the business can deliver herbs and lettuces year-round – thereby ensuring a forecastable revenue stream sustained by consumer demand not only in summer but right throughout the year. A small portion of the herb crops are also grown outdoors on site on market garden space immediately adjacent to the tunnel houses,” he said.
“All crops are grown from seed in a continuous process which ensures total quality control and supply chain guarantees.”
In addition to supplying various supermarkets throughout the South Island and lower North Island, along with large New Zealand food subscription companies, Thymebank also operates a retail outlet from within the property, as well as facilitating its own on-line ordering system.
Mr Poswillo said Thymebank’s large supermarket and food delivery arrangements would transfer to any new owner of the business, while training would be given on servicing the brand’s own direct sales channels.
Mr Poswillo said an extensive inventory of plant, equipment and machinery was also included in the Thymebank premises sale - encompassing hydroponic pumps, nutrient and water storage tanks, heat exchangers, air flow fans, boilers, scales, chiller unit, packing machine, forklift, chiller delivery truck, and a complete irrigation system.
“Aside from the growing buildings, ancillary physical infrastructure on the property includes a centrally-located packhouse, separate office administration and staff amenities block, and two equipment and plant storage sheds,” he said.
For irrigation, the business has consent to draw up to 40 cubic metres a day from a bore well. Water is then circulated throughout the hot houses via an automated fertigation and watering system. Mr Poswillo said that with a highly developed market underpinned by a strong degree of consumer brand recognition and producing spray free herbs and lettuce under optimum growing and harvesting practices, Thymebank offers an immediate cashflow and ‘turn-key’ operation for any new owner.
“Thymebank’s current owners have built up all elements of the food production and marketing business over the past eight years so that the operation is one of the most efficient of its type in New Zealand, and with those aspects all running at optimum levels, they are ready to hand over the reins for a new owner to pursue,” he said.