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June 30, 2013

Farm Briefs: June 30, 2013

Kitchen incubator project planned for Paul Smith’s VIC

PAUL SMITHS — Cornell Cooperative Extension, Healthy Heart Network and Paul Smith’s College’s Adirondack Center for Working Landscapes are exploring the feasibility of constructing a kitchen incubator at the Paul Smiths College VIC. This facility would be available to farmers and rural entrepreneurs interested in small-scale food processing such as freezing, drying, blanching and cooking.

The project has the potential to expand the support available and to grow with the sustainable agriculture capacity of the Adirondack-North Country region.

A kitchen incubator is a shared-use, licensed, insured and inspected commercial kitchen that is devoted to providing support for local entrepreneurs developing catering, retail and wholesale food businesses. In addition to renting commercial-kitchen space and storage facilities, the kitchen incubator at the Paul Smith’s VIC will assist local businesses in the marketing and distribution of their local products. The kitchen incubator will serve as not just a functional commercial kitchen space, but also as an educational center where customers can gain training and mentoring to assist them in developing and expanding their product lines and businesses.

Two organizations that are currently making commitments to increase the amount of local food served in their dining services have already been recognized: Paul Smith’s College and the regional school districts associated with the Adirondack Farm to School Initiative (Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and Tupper Lake). The incubator kitchen will in no way be replacing current vendors but will be helping existing business gain access to new emerging markets.

In order to ensure that the facility meets the needs of potential users, farmer input is being sought. May are already small-scale food processors or may have the potential or be interested in selling to institutions. 

A hard copy of the survey can be mailed out or it can be completed over the phone. Survey takers are requested to respond by July 20. Contact Brittany Harris (bharris@heartnetwork.org) or Bernadette Logozar (bel7@cornell.edu) for assistance.

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