UPSIDE Foods has had no shortage of incredible milestones lately: following landmark regulatory approvals by the FDA & USDA, the company recently partnered with San Francisco’s Bar Crenn to make its cultivated chicken commercially available (snag a coveted reservation to try it if you can!), and last week announced its first commercial-scale plant, dubbed Rubicon, near Chicago.

Rubicon is designed to produce millions of pounds of suspension-based products (including dumplings, sausages, hot dogs, and fried chicken tenders and patties!) per year, with capacity to incorporate the tissue process for whole cut meats once it’s ready at commercial scale. 

In its quest to create an entirely new industry, UPSIDE has, as CEO Uma Valeti says, “done the hard things first.” The company has managed to produce whole cut cultivated chicken (like the one you can find at Bar Crenn) that “evokes the kind of nostalgic, delicate meatiness proper chicken should provide,” as Eater put it. 

Now, UPSIDE is focused on scaling and innovating—all while continuing to learn and evolve over time, and we can all follow along thanks to “The Road to Rubicon,” a new UPSIDE series that takes folks behind the scenes on the company’s journey to scale and reinvent the way meat is created and makes it to the table.

This first post in the series addresses some of the complex science, cultivation processes, and operations that are important steps to producing cultivated meat.