September 27, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Two Rivers Food Hub Sets Targeted Opening Date of Nov. 1

Local growers, processors and buyers will be pleased to learn that the Two Rivers Food Hub (TRFH), located in the Gallipeau Centre in Smiths Falls, will soon be open for business. At a general meeting on Monday, Sept. 22, the TRFH set a target date of Nov. 1 for the opening of the commercial kitchen component of the food hub, moving them one step closer to a fully operational food hub servicing the Lanark Leeds Grenville regions.

A Local Food Hub is a centrally located facility dedicated to coordinating the collection and distribution of locally grown foods to the benefit of both growers and purchasers. One of the main purposes of a food hub is to help recreate the local food  infrastructure that has been lost over the past several decades.

The TRFH, operating under the umbrella of the Rideau Community Health Services, has been in the planning stages for more than a year. The opening of the commercial kitchen component marks the first step towards becoming one of the first local food hubs in Eastern Ontario.

"This will be the first of many significant steps forward for the food hub," Ray Elgersma, TRFH Acting Chair, explained, "With this first crucial piece of the puzzle completed, we can really begin to move closer to bringing local foods to the community."

In addition to a commercial kitchen rental facility, the food hub will also shortly begin operations as a depot for local foods, and a pick up location for restaurants and retail outlets interested in including local foods in their products list. This component of the  TRFH will be developed following the hiring of a general manager who will be key to its implementation.

The incubator kitchen planned for the TRFH will offer assistance to early stage, small scale, food production businesses by reducing the stress of meeting food safety regulations and the high cost of commercial kitchen equipment. Space sharing opportunities are of particular value to new businesses and to existing food production enterprises who wish to scale up their production at a low cost.

The TRFH will eventually include two commercial kitchens renting at an hourly rate of $25 per hour. The opening date of Nov 1st will include the opening of one of these kitchens, comprising approximately 480 square feet and will include all major equipment as well as small equipment for food processing of all kinds.

Storage space will be available to tenants who wish to keep items safely locked within the kitchen, as well as walk in refrigerator and freezer space. A second kitchen and a large area for catering and cooking classes will be opening as the TRFH moves forward with its plans.

As part of the target date of Nov. 1, the committee will also be putting forward a call for parties interested in applying for a contract position of General Manager. The General Manager will be involved in the planning and start-up of the food hub, including developing operations, facility planning, developing and executing a marketing strategy and the launch of the centre.

For more information about the services available at the TRFH, or to subscribe to their newsletter, please visit www.tworiversfoodhub.com or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For a pdf version of this press release, please click here.