This week the construction started on our new CoMo Cooks Shared Kitchen. Well, it's mainly demo right now but it's so satisfying to see walls come down and the space begin to take shape.
We have a 3200 square foot street-level space at 14 Business Loop 70 East with enough room for both our office and a permanent kitchen. The expanded kitchen will have several cooking bays, a baking section, a production kitchen, food truck access, and even space for pop-ups! We secured a $250,000 Workforce Development Grant from the City of Columbia for build-out and equipment and we've started the build out on this key economic development project.
Our newest initiative is a manufacturing component of the shared kitchen called The Packing House, designed to help local farmers transform their crops into value-added products. We teamed up with Root Cellar and Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid- Missouri on a nearly $600,000 USDA grant to strengthen regional food supply chains. Farmers can now process crops in our kitchen, freezing and packaging fruits and vegetables for for retail and wholesale distribution.
Both the shared kitchen and The Packing House are currently operating in a temporary space at 500 E. Walnut but the new space is larger and will better accommodate a range of clients--from food trucks to farmers. This is a huge project that will serve as a catalyst for increased economic activity on the street. Keep posted on our progress by following us on Facebook or Instagram.