The Good Food Hub
Wyoming Food for Thought Project recently purchased the old Powder River Veterans Club at 420 W. 1st St. with the intention of turning it into what we're calling the Good Food Hub, a business incubator and community space for Casper residents and small business owners. The Good Food Hub will house a shared commercial kitchen space and finishing area, a public market and marketplace, an event space, greenhouse and more.
The intention of this space is to provide our local business owners and entrepreneurs with access to a facility that can assist with expansion of their businesses and provide the community with access to locally made products. We want this space to be a gathering place for everyone in our community, that strengthens our local food system and the bond between our local producers and the community we live in.
How We Got Here...
Wyoming Food for Thought Project started as a food sovereignty organization that provided children in need throughout Casper with weekend food bags when they were out of school. We wanted to get more local, healthy food into our food bags, so we took over management of the former Downtown Casper Community Farmers Market in hopes of accessing excess produce from our local grocers and producers. However, we quickly learned that there was little to no excess produce and few producers, so we started growing our own food!
Eventually, we got into a flow with the Summer Market and Winter Makers Market, and decided to buy a bus to transform into a Mobile Farmers Market, which we would use to transport locally made goods to low-income areas of Casper. However, shortly after tearing the seats out and repainting the bus, we found out that the Wyoming Food Freedom Act has been revised, which would have allowed us to sell products on behalf of our vendors as their Designated Agent. Ideally, this meant that unless vendors had a commercially inspected facility to make their products in, we would not be able to sell their products for them.
Also, during this time, we were approached by a friend who wanted to use our expertise to replicate Vertical Harvest in Jackson Hole in downtown Casper. So, between this idea and the issues we were running into with increasing capacity for our market vendors, the Good Food Hub was formed.
Connect with Us
Whether you are a potential investor interested in naming rights, or you would like to become a user of the Good Food Hub - we want to hear from you! Tours are available now, and renovation is right around the corner, so click below to get involved and support the Good Food Hub today!
Shared Commercial Kitchen
The Good Food Hub will house two commercial kitchen spaces, that will be available for rent by users to commercially license their products. One kitchen will house anchor tenants who will have storefronts in the Good Food Hub, while the other will be a shared kitchen that will be utilized by various food vendors, host our culinary training program for disenfranchised populations, offer educational workshops and cooking classes, and more.
By providing this commercial kitchen space, food producers will be able to create inspected products to then be sold to restaurants, grocery stores, and more.
The Finishing Area of the Good Food Hub will be designed to house a variety of small working spaces fit for food and non-food vendors alike. Whether are you in need of a prep area, or you need to bottle, label, can or pack your finished products, we've got a space for you!
We will also offer mentorship to users on label designs, packaging options, cost-benefit analyses and more.
Culinary Training Program
The Culinary Training Program will be a program that provides disenfranchised populations with training on how to properly navigate a commercial kitchen space and get basic, hands-on basic technique training. The products they make will come from raw produce aggregated from the warehouse and grown on site, and will be used in our weekend food bags or sold in the Marketplace.
We hope to connect graduates from this program to local restaurants and other kitchen-related jobs.
The Marketplace will be a small grocery and gifts storefront full of Wyoming-made products. Producers that are not yet at a capacity to have their own storefront in the Public Market space can consign shelf space for their products until they reach a larger capacity in their business. The Marketplace will give downtown Casper and north Casper neighborhoods access to an affordable grocery source. We will accept SNAP at the marketplace and work to create affordable and accessible food with a priority of local food as the primary food sold.
The Public Market are in the Good Food Hub will provide small business owners with an affordable, downtown storefront opportunity. This enables them to navigate various business aspects on a small, low risk, low fail scale, such as staffing and employment, paperwork and taxes, and more. The hope with the Public Market is to be a stepping stone for our users - to get them financially stable and comfortable with running a business, to where they eventually outgrow their space and move on from the Good Food Hub.
The Warehouse will aggregate raw goods from around the state and region to be used by businesses in the Good Food Hub and sold in the Marketplace, facilitate distribution opportunities between producers and local businesses such as grocery stores and restaurants, and turn these goods into value-added items through our Culinary Training Program for use in our weekend food bags.
We will also provide dry, cooler and freezer storage lockers for users to rent to store their products on site.
The Event Space at the Good Food Hub will provide over 2,000 square feet of combined indoor and outdoor space, fit for a year-round farmers market, private events, community classes and workshops, and more. Located on the south side of the building, the indoor space will receive an abundance of natural light and attract any drivers passing by on 1st St.
The outdoor space will host an outdoor seating area, bike rack area, and will come equipped with twinkling lights and outdoor heaters to create the ultimate Casper event space.
The Greenhouse will encompass approximately 2,400 square feet of space on the roof of the Good Food Hub.
Encased in glass, the Greenhouse will be visible in all its glory as you drive into the downtown area over the North Platte River bridge crossing. Vertical, hydroponic grow towers will be used in the space, and will provide fresh produce in the Marketplace, as well as to vendors utilizing the Good Food Hub.
The Kids Area will be a small, gated area where young children can temporarily be left to play with various toys and other children while parents put in a quick food order or purchase something from the Marketplace.
This area will be centrally located and viewable from any area of the Good Food Hub.