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We’re building everyone’s kitchen

The Food Enterprise and Economic Development Center of Madison

By Ellen Barnard
Northside News
October/November 2010

FEED Madison Building Rendering 001
Rendering of the future food business incubator and community kitchen

Food is a hot topic these days. We’re talking about local food, seasonal eating, preserving food for off-season enjoyment, local food businesses … we love food, and we love to eat. Two years ago the Northside Planning Council started hearing comments like these from the community:

“We really need a community kitchen where my friends and I can have canning parties.”

“I’m looking for a place to make my eggrolls so I can sell them for a fundraising event.”

“I want to cater on the weekends, but the kitchen I was using has closed, and I can’t find a legal place to cook.”

“We need a place, or a service, that can process excess produce so that farmers don’t have to throw extras away.”

“I’d like a place to start a gourmet cookie business, but I can’t afford a kitchen of my own yet. Oh, and I need help with my business plan.”

“We need a place to operate a wholesale bakery and training program for returning prisoners to learn bakery and business skills so they can get jobs in the community.”

“Where can I learn about starting a new food business?”

After hearing statements like these, a member of the Northside Planning Council was inspired to pull together a team and developed the Food Enterprise that Economic Development Center of Madison (FEED Madison). This food business incubator and community kitchen will be located at 1502 Pankratz Rd. (off Packers Avenue and International Lane). It will feature an energy-efficient, multi-station kitchen which will be state certified and available for rent by the hour to food entrepreneurs, community groups and food service and bakery training programs. One of the team members is working to develop a “co-packing” service for farmers to use to process excess produce for sale as value-added products like soups, sauces and salsas.

Business-related classes will be held on site, offering guidance in business plan development, finding financing and financial management for businesses. These classes will be conducted by the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation in partnership

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