The Kitchen Project is a commerial commissary kitchen for small business incubation, culinary education, and retail. We will provide space for food-based start-ups to develop and create their products. We also offer educational programming for culinary arts, nutrition, and safe food handling. In 2016 a volunteer at the Gunnison County Food Pantry, who is also a student at Western State Colorado University, researched the issues in our community that have become barriers between citizens and good nutrition. This study found that the primary barriers are cost and know-how, and that over 91% of community members surveyed are interested in learning more about nutrition and how to provide healthy meals for their families. Educational programing at The Kitchen Project will help remove these barriers.
Our retail space will provide locally produced value-added foods to community members, while also bridging the gap between local food growers and consumers. During the Farm to Table Conference held at WSCU this past Spring, every member of the panel of farmers and food producers mentioned difficulty connecting with consumers. The owner and operator of Gunnison Gardens, Susan Wyman, said, "Growing food is easy. Selling food is the hard part!" By providing a commercial outlet for locally grown produce, The Kitchen Project will support local growers and also provide healthy, local, nutritious produce to community members. We will also highlight the many benefits of eating local produce, and educate consumers as to the importance of supporting the local economy and foodshed.
The Kitchen Project has the opportunity to serve the Gunnison Valley by creating a location for this all to happen! Your donation will go toward obtaining commercial kitchen equipment that will be shared and used to teach culinary arts and nutrition. TKP has been searching for opportunities to purchase assets for over a year, and an excellent option is currently on the market! With your help, The Kitchen Project can be serving our community before this year's harvest!
Your support means so much to us and to our whole community. Not only as the Gunnison Valley, but also as people who care about local food wherever your locale! Supporting the local food movement is supporting the environment, industry, and public health. Thank you for helping us serve our world in the best way that we know how.