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Posts tagged ‘square kitchen’

Happy Anniversary to SLC’s Square Kitchen!

Welcome to SLCgreen Connections, an occasional series highlighting SLCgreen’s fantastic local partners—the people and organizations with whom we work closely to make Salt Lake City a greener, more vibrant, and sustainable city!

Can you believe it? It’s been over a year since Salt Lake City’s Square Kitchen opened. This labor of love took 8 years to fully realize and was one of our Department’s core Local Food access programs.

In that time, Square Kitchen’s Analia Valdemoros and Tham Soekotjo have truly taken the idea of an “incubator kitchen” from a dream to a thrilling reality while maintaining a strong focus on client support, flexibility, and creativity.

We met with Ana and Tham at the Square Kitchen facility on 751 West and 800 South to learn more about their first year of operation and take a peek at some of the local food businesses that got their start at the unique incubator space.

Square Kitchen
751 W. 800 S.
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It’s Farmers Market Season!

Summer is here and along with it are the Salt Lake City area Farmers Markets. June 7th and 8th marked the start of another great summer of Farmers Markets with the Liberty Park Farmers Market on Friday night and the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday morning. The markets ushered in summer with everything from delicious food trucks to fresh heirloom vegetables to artisan dog cookies!

On Saturday, interns from SLCgreen tabled alongside farmers and vendors including Buzzed Coffee, Raclette Machine, Mamachari Kombucha, Volkers Bakery, and many more. Salt Lake City’s Farmers Market are a great way to support local growers; eat fresh, locally grown food; and to learn about sustainability projects in Salt Lake City.

SLCgreen Interns Linda Derhak and Atticus Olmedo tabling at the Downtown Farmers Market.
SLCgreen Interns Linda Derhak and Atticus Olmedo at the Downtown Farmers Market.

Support Farmers Markets

Salt Lake City supports community-based food production as a means of making fresh, sustainable foods more readily accessible.

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Salt Lake City’s Sustainable Food Initiatives

Why does Salt Lake City have a food policy program? Community gardens, an incubator kitchen, pesticide free resources, farmers’ markets… it all helps foster a healthy city and flourishing economy.  Watch the video and then scroll through the blog post to find more details about the programs and initiatives mentioned by our program manager Bridget Stuchly.

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The Square Kitchen Opens Today!

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 . . . It’s a project 8 years in the making.

Food. It does more than just nourish our bodies. It’s a vehicle for transmitting culture and building community. It sustains families and farmers. It employs a huge workforce.

Food is integral to our economy, our environment, and our families. That’s one reason why SLCgreen has a food policy program which aims to increase the amount of local food grown, sold, and purchased in Salt Lake City.

Today we are thrilled to celebrate a huge milestone for a project we’ve been working on since 2010—the opening of a culinary incubator kitchen.

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Salt Lake City Announces Awardee, Location of the New Culinary Incubator Kitchen Project

Incubator-Kitchen-SquareSalt Lake City is pleased to announce that Square Kitchen has been awarded a competitive $350,000 grant to develop a culinary incubator kitchen in the Poplar Grove neighborhood. The new Square Kitchen will provide accessible and affordable commercial kitchen space to budding food entrepreneurs, in addition to regulatory, marketing and business resources.

“There is high demand for local and organic food options in Salt Lake City,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “Square Kitchen will help to build and diversify our local food economy by removing the barriers that are preventing new companies from starting in the food sector – specifically the lack of commercial kitchen space and accessible business resources.”

Earlier this year, Mayor Becker and the Salt Lake City Council approved $600,000 to support the development of a Culinary Incubator Kitchen in Salt Lake City. $350,000 was available through a competitive grant process, while the additional $250,000 was made available through a loan. Proposals were submitted last summer to create and operate a culinary incubator kitchen.

The selection of Square Kitchen is another important step forward for a project that began over two years ago. In 2013, Salt Lake City’s Food Policy Task Force, in partnership with the Sustainability Division, worked with Carbaugh & Associates to conduct the Culinary Incubator Kitchen Feasibility Study (PDF). This study identified a strong demand for an incubator kitchen, while outlining the key components needed to create a successful project for the Salt Lake City community.

Square Kitchen, LLC was established in March 2015 by Analia Valdemoros, MCMP and Tham Soekotjo with the mission of building a culinary kitchen incubator facility accessible to all community members. Together, Valdemoros and Soekotjo have over 16 years of diverse experience as urban planners, entrepreneurs and local food business owners.

“Square Kitchen is thrilled to work with Salt Lake City in providing new and experienced food entrepreneurs with an affordable state-of-the art kitchen facility, sizable storage space, training opportunities to grow their food business, and most importantly, a gathering place to cultivate and increase food diversity in our city,” said Valdemoros and Soekotjo.

Square Kitchen is finalizing site plans and will break ground on the new facility in early spring 2016. The new kitchen plans to open its doors for business in July 2016.

For more information and to follow the progress of the Culinary Incubator Project, please visit www.SLCgreen.com.