Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), through Vision Brookings Foundation, has received a USDA Rural Business Development Grant to create a commercial kitchen and implement a technical assistance program to assist the efforts of area food entrepreneurs.
The kitchen will be located at 420 Main Avenue in downtown Brookings. BEDC is partnering with building owners, Dusten Hendrickson and Kelan Bludorn,of Kind Properties, on the development and administration of the new program. There will also be retail space available for businesses to sell what they have produced in the kitchen, creating a public market that will serve as a year-round gathering space for the community.
“We are so honored to receive this grant for the Brookings area and are excited to see how the commercial kitchen will help entrepreneurs throughout the area take their businesses to the next level,” said Jennifer Quail, Director of Entrepreneur Support for BEDC. “Kind Properties is going to be a great partner in this community venture. Dusten and Kelan have already come up with many creative ideas and ways to utilize this one-of-a-kind resource.”
Quail expects the kitchen will have a significant impact on the community, both for the small and emerging food businesses, such as caterers, bakeries and meal preparation services, and for residents to use for canning, holiday baking, cooking classes, group events and more.
“This kitchen will serve as a hub for local entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses and gain exposure within the community,” said Quail. “We also anticipate intergenerational, food-related activities for family and friends to be able to connect, grow and learn together.”
The organization received a similar grant in 2015 to create South Dakota’s first community makerspace, a shared workshop that currently has approximately fifty members. The commercial kitchen and the makerspace are just two of the many events and programs available for entrepreneurs and startups through BEDC’s Division of Entrepreneur Support. These resources have helped establish Brookings as one of the top communities for entrepreneurs in the nation.
This project fits the goals set forth in President Trump’s Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Report.
Note: This success story shared courtesy of Brookings Economic Development Corporation.