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FEAST – Food Entrepreneur Accelerator and Start Up Terminal – To Launch in Inkster

Economy, Find Local Food, Press Release, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers, Stories

DETROIT – OCT. 19, 2017 – A new initiative to help burgeoning Michigan food business entrepreneurs boost production and growth is set to begin. FEAST, LLC, which stands for Food Entrepreneur Accelerator and Start Up Terminal, is a co-packing program, developed by Eastern Market Corp. (EMC), to help local food manufacturing companies grow more quickly.

Equipped with commercial kitchens and a food processing center, the 14,500 square foot facility is located at 26762 Michigan Ave. in Inkster. Licensed under Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and registered under the Food and Drug Administration, FEAST production will focus on acidified and shelf-stable food products.  

“FEAST is a first step in Eastern Market Corp.’s program to accelerate food business in Michigan and will fill the current void that exists for food entrepreneurs looking to ramp up production and move their business to the next stage,” said Mike DiBernardo, Director Food Innovation Programs for Eastern Market Corp. “Developing and supporting programs like FEAST which will grow the food system and increase economic opportunities in the region is a key part to Eastern Market Corporation’s strategic plan.”

The building was donated to EMC by Garden Fresh Gourmet founder, Jack Aronson, who has collaborated with EMC long-term to develop ways to grow food processing in the region. FEAST, operating as a private LLC, is co-owned by founders of three established local food companies, Marcia Nodel and her daughter-in-law Michal Nodel of Marcia’s Munchies, Scott and Suzi Owens of Scotty O’Hotty and Amit Makhecha of M&R Ventures. A loan from Northern Initiatives’ Michigan Good Food Fund helped to secure equipment.

“We’re proud to carry on Detroit’s lengthy and legendary manufacturing history in this new venture,” said Scott Owens. “Each of the FEAST co-owners have created business and met challenges along the way to grow and expand. We’re beyond thrilled to be using even more local resources and expanding our state-of-the-art manufacturing process to feed and employ more people.”

In addition to meeting their own production needs, FEAST will provide small and mid-sized food companies in Southeast Michigan with co-packing services. Recipe development, cooperative buying, and private labeling production will also be services offered by FEAST.

FEAST will create six full-time positions.  For more information, visit FeastDetroit.com.

 

About FEAST Detroit

FEAST Detroit offers exceptional co-packing services to growing food businesses in its 14,500 square foot specialty food manufacturing facility. It is licensed as an acidified food processor and concentrates on the production of shelf stable products utilizing local supply chains. FEAST is licensed by the Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (MDARD) and registered through the FDA. For more information please visit FeastDetroit.com

 

About Eastern Market Corporation

Eastern Market Corporation (EMC) is the nonprofit that manages Eastern Market on behalf of the City of Detroit. Its vision is to create the most inclusive, resilient, and robust regional food hub in the United States and to ensure that Eastern Market nourishes Detroit — from food to art and commerce to culture.  For more information, call 313.833.9300, visit our website at EasternMarket.com and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter.

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Media Contacts: Jason Brown, PublicCity PR, 248-252-1687, jbrown@publiccitypr.net    

Monica Cheick, PublicCity PR, 586-612-8220, mcheick@publiccitypr.net

ann arbor farmers market

Ann Arbor Farmers Market – The Experience Never Ends

Event, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Rebecca Locke, Southeast Michigan, Stories

As we enter the fall season and enjoy the abundance of the autumn harvest, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market may be at its peak but the experience of the Market continues year round.

Apples at market

Falling into Flavors and Memories of the Season

Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Kelly Wilson, Southeast Michigan, Stories

As sad as I am to see summer go, I am ready for the fall. I love the way the golden light hangs in the trees this time of year, how cozy the foggy mornings are, and the changing colors of the trees. My favorite things about the season, however, are the food (surprise, surprise!) and the many fall flavors. These connect me to happy memories of shared meals and conversation with family and friends.

The fall food that pulls strongest at my heartstrings is the humble and versatile apple. This fruit always conjures up my Grandma Wills and I cannot see a Northern Spy apple without feeling her presence or tasting her “famous” apple pie. The thought of her pie’s perfect flaky crust, warm and gooey apple filling, a dollop of ice cream or a slice of sharp cheddar cheese on top send me back to time spent in her kitchen; one of the reasons I pursued a career in food and agriculture. I’m forever grateful she taught me how to make her perfect pie before she passed so every time I bake and eat it she is there with me.

Apples also bring back memories to my first farm job in Minnesota. Before leaving for the fall, we gleaned apples from a neighboring farm littered with hundreds of decrepit Volvos (I swear it looked like they were farming cars rather than fruit!). The apples we picked became golden sauce after hours of peeling with Beth and her young boys. A slightly more “formal” apple picking experience in New Hampshire made me fall in love with the East Coast and my cohort of dietetic interns. The time in the orchard catalyzed personal and professional relationships that are still strong almost a decade later. These memories are strong examples of why I love food. Not only does it nourishes us physically, but also spiritually; it draws us together and connects us strongly to people and place.

As the weather turns cooler this fall season, I hope you can slow down, open up a cookbook, and share some food and memories with your loved ones. If you want to try your hand at a simple dish, try this delicious apple cake. The recipe comes courtesy of my grandmother, Frances Wills, and is shared with you in love. Note that this cake is best shared as the flavor improves in the presence of good company.

apple cake recip

Want to learn more about Michigan apples? Check out this guide from Michiganapples.com

Looking to pick your own apples or make memories with fresh cider and donuts? See this map from our friends at edibleWOW magazine.

Kelly Wilson, RDN is the SE Michigan Local Food Coordinator for Taste the Local Difference and owner of Simple Gifts Farm in Oxford, MI. Contact her at kelly@locadifference.org

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The Power of Regional Collaboration for Local Farmers Markets

Economy, Event, Farmers Markets, Guest Post, Leslie Lynch-Wilson, Southeast Michigan

With the popularity of local farmers markets, the workload for Market Managers has increased due to increased competition of markets, a shortage of available farmers, and the addition of food assistance programs and other programs now available to markets.

Powers fam

Brewery Wants Patrons to Drink Local, Think Global

farm-to-table, Find Local Food, Katie Powers, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers

Oxford brewery, HomeGrown, has joined an increasing number of businesses turning to their own backyard for ingredients. The locally-sourced movement has taken off – in the US and around the world – and “locavores” aim to develop more self-reliant and resilient food networks and improve local economies by buying from nearby producers. In both the brewing and dining components of the business, HomeGrown predominantly sources local supplies.

Birmingham Corn Festival, August 14, 2016, Birmingham Farmer's Market, Birmingham, MI.

Corn Festival at the Birmingham Farmers Market

Event, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Guest Post, Press Release, Southeast Michigan

BIRMINGHAM, MI, August 4, 2017 – Celebrate one of Michigan’s sweetest harvests with games, special kids crafts, demonstrations and old-fashioned corn shelling at the Birmingham Farmers Market Corn Festival on Sunday, August 13 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Enjoy fresh prepared corn dishes including roasted corn, kettle popcorn, corn bread and other homemade recipes. The day’s top seller will be fresh roasted Michigan sweet corn.

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Stone Coop Farm: Supporting the Next Generation of Farmers

Economy, Event, farm-to-table, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Kelly Wilson, Southeast Michigan, Stories

Like many first generation farmers, Joannée DeBruhl came to agriculture in a roundabout way. After being laid off, Joannée and a few friends started a community garden to benefit Gleaner’s Community Food Bank. The success of this project ignited Joannée’s deep passion for agriculture and her desire to become a full-time farmer. Recognizing her need for a more formal agricultural education, Joannée enrolled in the MSU Student Organic Farms’ Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP) in 2010. In the OFTP, she spent 9 months immersing herself in the nuances of growing healthy, organic plants and running a farm business.

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Your Crepe Escape : Flint Crepe Company

Brad and Audrey Burk, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers, The Local Dish

The Flint Crepe Company began serving crepes and coffee to the Flint community in 2009. At first, it was nothing more than a mobile crepe cart at the Flint Farmers’ Market and around town. On November 11, 2011 we opened our current storefront on Saginaw Street. We’ve come a long way since then!

The Land Loom Field

Weaving Together Community and Good Food

Find Local Food, Kelly Wilson, Southeast Michigan, Stories

On the edge of Ann Arbor, at the Tillian Farm Development Center, dark leafy greens and crisp, flavorful salad mixes are artfully tended by Hannah Rose Webber. A first generation farmer, Hannah is in her third season cultivating crops as The Land Loom. She currently rents 1.5 acres at Tillian where she follows organic practices to produce high quality greens and summer fruits (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.).