Community Connections seeks funding for kitchen incubator

The new project proposed would support existing businesses in the food industry and support entrepreneurs as they establish new ones.

File photo: Community Connections Food Bank Community Outreach and Development co-director Melissa Hemphill keeps spirits high amongst staff and volunteers. Photo: Bailey Gingras-Hamilton

Revelstoke may soon have a new way for entrepreneurs in the food industry to develop their endeavours and ideas into viable businesses.

Community Connections is seeking funding to set up a Kitchen Incubator as part of their development of a Community Kitchen in the new Outreach Centre building at 416 Second Street West.

The incubator project is meant to both support existing businesses and allow for the development of new businesses involved in food preparation. Community Connections is presenting the idea as a way for businesses like these to take advantage of tourism being such a large part of the economy in Revelstoke.

The organization also expects that the development of additional businesses involved in preparing and supplying foods will assist the community in meeting its food security goals.

At the Oct. 26 city council meeting, staff recommended that council request the Columbia Shuswap Regional District Board (CSRD) to allocate $50,000 from the Economic Opportunity Fund for the current year to community kitchens. These funds would then support the development of the Community Connections kitchen incubator.

The project has been deemed eligible for Economic Opportunity Funds (EOF) funding by CSRD staff and has the approval of the Director for CSRD Area B. The application must still be approved by the CSRD board.

The project has the support of Community Futures, which has contributed $10,000 for a study to determine the feasibility of the incubator, $20,000 for design work, and ongoing business planning services to help users of the incubator develop business plans.

The feasibility study, conducted by The Pines Business Development, points to the COVID-19 pandemic and a possible forthcoming recession in Canada as reasons to move forward with projects like the incubator. According to their study, it’s an ideal time to do so as the importance of supporting local entrepreneurs is becoming greater and a shared kitchen facility will enable local processors to continue to produce without needing to invest heavily in their own capital venture.

The overall project is expected to cost about $300,000 and other funding sources will be sought out.

This post was published by a member of the Revelstoke Mountaineer staff. Stories published under the staff byline include news briefs, stories that consist mostly of media releases, social media post shares, and stories by contributors with the author's name listed in the body of the story.