Although the weather did not cooperate the evening of Monday, Nov. 24, a few people braved the snow for the “Meet, Greet and Eat” event at Liberty Grove Town Hall.
Mary Pat Carlson, small-scale food processing consultant, brought a variety of foods that are cooked, packaged and warehoused at the very successful Farm Market Kitchen Incubator in Algoma. All of the foods presented were creations of Liberty Grove and Door County residents who travel to/from Algoma regularly each week to prepare their products in the FDA/USDA approved culinary center.
Chuck Sully, who produces and markets a variety of “Crusty Uprising” breads could not be there in person, but he sent samples of his work for all to taste. When asked what he had to say about his six years of experience at the shared-use Farm Market Kitchen Incubator in Algoma, he replied: “All I have to say is 258. That’s the number of miles I drive each week between Door County and Algoma to make my products.”
JoAnne Penny was there in person, providing hot egg rolls to dip into her delicious Penny Lane Farms Thai cuisine products. JoAnne has also been producing her products at the Farm Market Kitchen Incubator in Algoma.
In addition to enjoying the delicious food, those attending this “Meet, Greet and Eat” event received a copy of the Northern Door Culinary Center (NDCC) Survey Summary. Every individual who responded to the survey was invited to this event. The NDCC committee was eager to share the survey results.
There is indeed a strong interest in the Town of Liberty Grove for the local development of a shared-use culinary and business incubation center. The initial goal would be to grow food-based businesses, while also encouraging the growth and development of complementary businesses.
Here’s a quick summary of the survey results:
• More than 28 percent of those responding were interested in using a culinary incubator facility.
• There are 14 Town of Liberty Grove residents who are currently using other culinary centers for their commercial food processing (the closest one is in Algoma).
• More than 40 percent of the respondents agreed that the culinary concept was a good idea for the Town of Liberty Grove.
Attendees also watched several videos that highlighted many of the culinary centers throughout Wisconsin. You can take your own video-tour at the Food Business Innovation Network (a service of the UW Extension Center for Community & Economic Development). Use this link to get started on the tour: fyi.uwex.edu/foodbin/the-food-bin-network/.
What’s next? The Northern Door Culinary Center Committee reports to the Town of Liberty Grove Economic Development Committee (EDC). It will be task of the EDC to report its suggestions to the town board, with the ultimate goal of bringing economic growth to the Town of Liberty Grove.