Farmers and Food Entrepreneurs Take Root in New 21 Acres Kitchen
Whether you plan to grow an acre of cucumbers or you’re thinking of starting a small scale food business, farmers and entrepreneurs are coming together with their creations in the new commercial farm kitchen at 21 Acres located in east King County. Providing the vital infrastructure to help support small farms and the local economy, the 21 Acres Kitchen is a place for farmers and others to turn seasonal foods into year-round business opportunities.
Located in the new 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living near Woodinville, Washington, the 21 Acres Kitchen will serve as an education hub for food preparation and preservation. It will increase consumer access to the local food system through prepared meals and value-add specialty food products. Consumers are looking for extensions to the seasonal fresh harvest, increasing their demand for locally grown, artisanal food. For the farmer it provides an option, when ingredients are abundant, to extend the harvest into additional products and meet that demand.
Serving as a culinary incubator, it is also a space that can help launch a small business focusing on the use of sustainable, locally sourced products. According to Gretchen Garth, 21 Acres Board President, “In addition to supporting local food producers, the 21 Acres Kitchen will strive to support the values we incorporate in our organization and in all segments of our programming; that includes conserving water and significantly reducing the use of plastics in packaging, pesticides in food, rsbt and other hormones.”
The 2,400 square foot facility includes specific stations for prep, processing and a bakery along with the classroom space. The commercially licensed kitchen is fully equipped and available at low cost by the hour for individuals and new start-up businesses. (Click here for rental rates and info.) “Being available by the hour removes the burden of long leases for new businesses,” says 21 Acres Administrator, Deb Sternagel. “As a kitchen incubator,” Sternagel adds, “21 Acres has taken the considerable financial risk to open and operate a commercial kitchen and made it available at a fixed cost so new businesses can plan accordingly.” Kitchen rental rates range from $15 to $25 per hour. Refrigeration and storage is also provided depending on availability.
The 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living is also be home to the retail Farm Market and School. Offering continuing education classes on a variety of subjects in their Growing, Eating and Sustainable Living series, 21 Acres also plans to present classes on food preparation, canning/preservation and recipe development. There is also space in several configurations throughout the Center, including the kitchen, for menu testing, food events and special dinners. Rental facilities are also available for chefs.
For more information on the the 21 Acres Kitchen call 425-481-1500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.