It looks like most of us have become a member of this group. Following Ben (and I think some Maggie contributions), we should try to share information and keep everyone updated on major kitchen events (e.g. openings, etc). I added a few files to get us started including Ben's business plan, information on the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen from Rich, and Local Roots plans, financials, and RBEG grant.
Met yesterday with Paul Courtright and Gary Wenneker of OSU FIC. Specifically, this was regarding the husking bed and corn cutter they own that could be used to process sweet corn. There may be an opportunity to do a few runs of whole kernel (non-IQF) and / or cream corn frozen in plastic bags in 2013. Will provide more info once they further assess the equipment condition, capacity of their system for this process and the cost / expectations.
An NEO institutional buyer is interested in up to 3,000# of shelled, frozen Edamame for 2013. As an alternative, there may also be potential for a trial run in 2013 with the ability to commit to larger volumes in 2014 if successful. Edamame could be a good rotational crop for specialty crop producers, however the labor requirements for harvesting and processing could be very high. Would suggest that fresh sales or frozen in pod be included as additional markets if exploring the identified market opportunity. Please do not forward this message. Contact Brian Gwin for additional details.
Kathy Carr, freelance writer for Crain's Cleveland Business would like examples of where two or more producers have come together to develop a product. I.e Tomato producers, garlic grower and basil producers develop a pasta sauce or her favorite example of GLB beer and Mitchell's ice cream. I believe she would also be interested in scenarios where independent meat producers of different species have combined marketing.
if you have examples, please feel free to respond here or forward them directly to Kathy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi all. Ben here asking for your imagination. I'm have a few days to turn in a federal ARC grant for a piece of equipment in the 100K range (or two 50K). I was thinking about a mobile flash freezing operation to help connect our growing farm coop with more institutional buyers by being able to freeze bulk vegetables like green beans or broccoli for schools in the area willing to buy what we can produce.
Does anyone have good information on who's doing that, or what piece of equipment it would just be a dream to have?
Ray Ruiz (email@example.com) of CIFT wanted me to send out to the kitchen group that there is a large freezer that could be donated to a non-profit entity. The unit is fairly big putting out over 100,000 BTU/hr with a 3 phase 490V connection drawing around 100 amps if I remember correctly. This would be something like a 30'x30'x10' if not bigger. He said it is in working condition. See attached details. I suggest you contact Ray immediately if you're interested as they have other people interested.
While we have never discussed a formal name for this group, it didn't seem appropriate to designate it as NEO. So with Chet's report (attached) from today in mind, I have changed it to Midwest Food Innovation Network. Attached are the notes. Chet - Thanks for hosting.