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New collaboration delivers food and supports small, diverse businesses

By Ian Aley, MarketReady Program
May 26 via the Northside News

It all started with potato chips and baseball. Christine Ameigh, owner of Slide Gourmet Potato Chips and Christine’s Kitchens, had a contract to supply chips to Miller Park and had just produced a huge amount of chips. Then baseball was canceled due to the coronavirus. She decided to deliver her product directly to customers and invited the other users of her kitchen to join the online store.

At the same time, staff from the Madison Public Market’s MarketReady Program were talking about organizing a distribution system to support MarketReady members and heard about Ameigh’s online store.

MarketReady is a small-business development program connected with the soon-to-be-built Madison Public Market. The program is funded by the City of Madison and administered by the Northside Planning Council. It supports 30 entrepreneurs as they start or expand their business. Participants come from groups facing structural barriers to business ownership, many of whom are first-generation immigrants, women and people of color.

Christine’s Kitchens and FEED Kitchens (run by the Northside Planning Council) are commercial kitchens, where food entrepreneurs rent space and have access to walk-in coolers, production equipment and a community of other entrepreneurs for support.

MarketReady and FEED staff saw that Ameigh quickly organized a food distribution service in response to COVID-19. She welcomed additional businesses into her online shop and delivery route. The partnership to launch and market the distribution service reflected how now, more than ever, is a time for collaboration and creativity.

This collaboration has resulted in huge success. In April alone, participating businesses sold over $100,000 in locally-prepared food through the distribution service.

In the online store, customers can find food products from over 30 businesses, including local favorites like Caracas Empanadas, Little Tibet, Ugly Apple, Cafe Costa Rica and many more. The price of products in the shop includes free delivery to Madison, Sun Prairie, Verona, Oregon and many other communities in the greater Madison area. The vendors make weekly deliveries of products.

The product offerings reflect the multicultural businesses of our community. On the online store, you can find empanadas, tamales, samosas, baklava, tlacoyos, fried chicken and collards, momos and much more.

To purchase products, visit christines-kitchens.com. Gift certificates to share with others can be purchased here: squareup.com/gift/ECBTWC6GT0ESR/order.

Northside Planning Council

The mission of the Northside Planning Council is to improve the quality of life and foster equity on the Northside through community organizing and economic development.

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Northside Economic Development Coalition

Northside Economic Development Coalition

MarketReady

MarketReady