CAMBRIA COUNTY – If you’ve always wanted to sell cookies made from your grandma’s secret recipe, now you can!
The Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center and Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission unveiled a new shared kitchen for farmers and small-scale food processors. This Field-to-Fork Agricultural Incubator gives food entrepreneurs a space to prepare their food so it can then be sold to the public. It is the first facility of its kind in the Southern Alleghenies region.
The vision for this incubator is to inspire economic development and new job creation in our region.
One of the biggest challenges food entrepreneurs face when starting up their businesses is finding a commercial kitchen for manufacturing, as required by the FDA. This kitchen complies with state and federal requirements, clearing that hurdle for small scale producers.
The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies provided more than $30,000 toward purchasing and installing equipment, which includes the commercial pressure steamer and other kitchen essentials.
The facility is housed in the Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center. Culinary students will be available to assist in all aspects of food production, giving students invaluable real-world food experience – and much-needed help to makers.
This incubator will focus initially on three categories:
Jarred foods –jams, jellies, syrups, salsas, and other packaged food products falling within certain pH guidelines
Dried foods – fruits, vegetables, and USDA processed meats
Baked goods – breads, cookies, bagels, and other ready-to-eat baked goods
The kitchen is available to rent by the hour on a first-come first-served basis. Tenants need to comply with state regulations and some training requirements. If you have questions or you’re interested in signing up, contact Lindsay Pyle with the Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission: firstname.lastname@example.org.