Upstate nonprofit group prepares to open hub offering fresh, affordable food this spring
The tentative opening date for the market is early April
GREENVILLE, S.C. — An Upstate nonprofit group, Feed & Seed Co., is preparing to open its food innovation hub this spring located in the Judson Mill development.
“It has been a long journey but it’s exciting to see it evolve I think into a project and a facility that’s going to have much more impact than we had originally thought,” Mary Hipp, board chair of Feed & Seed Co. said. “My father always told me, ‘it took ten years for a good idea to come off the ground’ and we are just about there.”
Feed & Seed Co. is working on the hub with Artisan Food Solutions. It aims to address food insecurity in the community by providing fresh, affordable food to people and supporting local farmers.
“I think it’s an additional step to getting local products to the next level,” Adam Sturm, culinary consultant with Artisan Food Solutions said. “We’re not only just working as a food hub but we’re also working as a location for the community to get together and to help create ideas and products that we can utilize all the local food.”
“In this community, we have small farmers and they do not have the resources or the bandwidth to get into a larger market so with our food hub we can aggregate all those farmers and all their products and get them into the institutions,” Hipp said. “By doing that, it also brings down the price for their product to the public. So they’ll get a fair market price but we’ll have more to sell to the public at a reduced rate.”
The Feed & Seed food hub will include a green market with prepared meals, produce and other products, a community room for farmers and different education classes, freezer and refrigerator space, and a warehouse with processing capabilities.
“We’ve have the warehouse where we will be bringing product in and washing, sorting and packing and it will go into the distribution system or it will go into retail or it will go into processing which is one of the components we are doing to address food waste,” Hipp said. “So, if there’s bumper crops of something, we can slice, dice, flash freeze and use it later in the year. In addition to that, we’re doing preservation by dehydrating and freeze-drying products and making mixes.”
Hipp said an Appalachian Regional Commission grant helped the non-profit purchase all of the equipment in the facility.
The market is tentatively scheduled to open at the beginning of April, according to the nonprofit group. For more information, visit feedandseedsc.com.