Governor Hochul Announces Official Grand Opening of New Headquarters for RealEats in Ontario County

June 16, 2022

Fresh Meal Delivery Service Moves into 80,000 Square-Foot Production Facility in the Town of Geneva

Project Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the official grand opening of meal delivery service RealEats 80,000 square-foot production facility located at 1 Montmorency Way (Routes 5 & 20) in the Town of Geneva, Ontario County. Originally located in the Geneva Enterprise Development Center, a local business incubator, RealEats will produce and ship fully cooked, farm-fresh customizable meals from the new Geneva location, where it currently employs approximately 160 people. This expansion builds on the Finger Lakes regions vibrant agriculture and food processing sector, a central part of the regionally designed Finger Lakes Forward economic development plan.

"New York state is globally known for having some of the best food products in the world, and the agricultural industry is an important part of our statewide economy," Governor Hochul said. "By continuing to build on our investments in successful companies like RealEats, we are bolstering startups that are focused on the future of the agribusiness industry. We are committed to fostering these innovative ideas, boosting job growth, and to further strengthening the regional and statewide economies."

Founded in 2017, RealEats delivers healthy, portion controlled, chef-cooked meals directly to homes across most of the United States. RealEats selected New York, and specifically Geneva, for its expansion, because of its central location in the world-renowned Finger Lakes agricultural region. Geneva is also home to the Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech - the first of its kind facility which pulls together multiple partners to catalyze business development in New York's agriculture and food industries.

Dan Wise, Company President & CEO said, "We are beyond fortunate to have found a home in the Finger Lakes, where all the real food is. I could not have envisioned that an idea to solve my family's dinner dilemma would become an important public-private partnership dedicated to building a better food future. We are sincerely grateful for the incredible assistance from Empire State Development, New York State, Ontario County, the City of Geneva, the Center of Excellence for Food & Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech, and the tremendous support of our investors, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, Hamilton Lane, Armory Square Ventures, Excell Partners and GNC, which have been vital for our expansion. This unique collaboration has enabled RealEats to create 160 new local jobs, make significant investments back into our community, and help people across the country enjoy the nutritional benefits of healthy real food."

Empire State Development has previously supported RealEats continued growth in Geneva through a $500,000 grant, and a $2.45 million investment by Excell Partners, which manages the FLXFWD Venture Fund, supported by the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Up to $3 million is also being provided through the performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program in exchange for promised job commitments. The company also has the distinction of being the $1 million, round one winner of the state supported Grow-NY food and agriculture business competition which is dedicated to growing an enduring agrifood industry innovation cluster in the Finger Lakes, Central New York and in the Southern Tier regions of New York State.

Additionally, through its In-State Private Equity Investment Program, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has invested $7.8 million in RealEats in five separate investments through its partners, Armory Square Ventures and Hamilton Lane. The state pension fund has invested $1.6 billion in more than 500 companies through this private equity program, generating a 10% internal rate of return since 2001. The New York State Common Retirement Fund partners with investment firms to invest in private New York companies.

Empire State Development Commissioner and President & CEO Hope Knight said, "This innovative company's continued expansion in Ontario County is great news, especially given the boost to local farmers that comes from RealEats' ongoing commitment to use regionally-sourced foods in their chef-prepared meals. New York's agricultural industry is the 'secret sauce' of RealEats' success and our statewide economy, and there's no better place for the company to strengthen its 'roots' and 'grow' its business than in the beautiful, bountiful Finger Lakes region."

Read the full press release here.