About The Food Venture Center
The Food Venture Center (previously known as the Northern New Mexico College’s Sostenga Commercial Kitchen) was leased by Rio Arriba County to support the Northern New Mexico Food Hub and will serve as the supplemental facility for the Food Hub. The Food Venture Center has undergone a number of upgrades, has added new kitchen equipment and is now ready to open. Adding the Food Venture Center boosts the Food Hub’s capabilities by providing the infrastructure required for growers to expand into value-added product markets.
The Española farmers market currently has approximately 150-200 local farmers vending. The idea is to grow that number significantly by providing those growers with access to kitchen facilities and equipment, business training, product development and assistance with market expansion. This will augment local produce sales and increase revenues for the producers. The value added products will be sold on both a retail and wholesale basis, thereby increasing revenues for local growers/producers.
The RDC, in collaboration with Rio Arriba County, Siete del Norte and the City of Española, will develop a repeatable 12-month Small and Emerging Businesses Technical Assistance Program. The initial program will be geared towards value-added agriculture, designed to support businesses in Rio Arriba County.
The initial program will integrate value-added agriculture training and mentorship, including:
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)
- Food Product Labeling
- Training at the Northern New Mexico Food Ventures Center
- New Product Development
RDC thanks the leadership of Rio Arriba County, Siete del Norte, and the City of Española for their support, which is critical to the ongoing success of this and similar programs throughout the region.
This program has been made possible by a grant from the USDA. The RDC will administer the grant, and is currently accepting client applications.