Deputy Secretary Celebrates Opening of a Non-Profit Pennsylvania Kitchen for Use by Food Entrepreneurs
Tucked in the back of York’s historic (circa 1754) downtown Central Market, YorKitchen, a shared commercial kitchen incubator officially opened its doors this morning. The crowd of nearly 40 local supporters applauded as Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, York County Economic Development officials and local officials cut the ribbon at the entrance to the state-of-the-art kitchen. The kitchen was funded in part through Rural Development.
The kitchen, located within a thriving fresh food market, will help to overcome the road blocks that can stand between a farmer or food entrepreneur’s marketing efforts. Operators are also partnering with local community service organizations to provide educational opportunities to limited-income individuals who want to learn about nutrition and healthy food options. The kitchen will also provide workforce training opportunities and business start-up technical assistance. Adjacent to YorKitchen is a state-of-the-art show kitchen, donated by various local companies. The show kitchen is currently being used for demonstrations including Penn State University’s ServSafe Certification Training for food service professionals.
Funding support for the kitchen was provided through a Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise (RBEG) grant to NutriCore NorthEast, Inc., a subsidiary of the York County Economic Development Council, that coordinates services for food or nutrition research and development. The RBEG program provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses, distance learning networks, and employment related adult education programs.
From its humble beginning over 100 years ago, the York Central Market has served as a connecting point for consumers with local producers. And now, the Market serves as another connecting point for food entrepreneurs and new business ventures. The project supports the mission of USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative.
To learn more about how USDA programs support rural business development, click here.