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Big Plans for the Mixing Bowl Kitchen

mixing bowl logoAll the right ingredients for starting a food business can be found at the Mixing Bowl Kitchen. Located within the South Valley Economic Development Center (SVEDC) at 318 Isleta Blvd. SW Albuquerque. The 3200 sq ft commercial kitchen has been the birthplace of numerous food businesses since 2005.

The Mixing Bowl helps budding food entrepreneurs as well as other community kitchens across the state of New Mexico. Information on how to navigate the regulatory process, educational resources for business planning, and peer to peer network support are all a part of what they do.Ernie Rivera, Kitchen Manager, has a vision for the future of New Mexico's community kitchens. Cooperation is the name of the game, and he is bringing local food experts around the table to form an advisory board for his organization. The goal of the board is to effectively understand what is in high demand within the local food market, and then connect that demand with a local producer (value-added or not). "Its probably not going to be your Grandma's salsa recipe", Ernie says as he explains what kinds of food could really take off in the state, "but a local granola isn't really being done, and that would fly off the shelves." The Mixing Bowl sees the undeniable trend and shift towards local food. "As we look for ways to be more self-sustainable, the food system is a huge part of economic growth, it is the foundation!" Ernie has worked in the food business in New Mexico his entire life, he sees first hand that the spirit to become an entrepreneur is strong here. He also sees many food businesses start up, then close within the year. The Mixing Bowl wants to give start-ups the resources, knowledge, and networks that it takes to get them to the next stage.

Down the road, the role of the Mixing Bowl will be:

  • A hub of connections, innovative ideas, and of inspiration. They already have the ball rolling on this with their bi-weekly video conference calls and consistent food fiestas and workshops.
  • They want to be a cheerleader and guide for innovators to come out and test their ideas in the market.
  • Finally, they are one of the organizations striving to create new paradigms for success, they are actively creating the infrastructure and networks for tomorrow's local food systems.

If you like the stuff going on around the Mixing Bowl, here's a taste of their upcoming events!

The April 17th Statewide Kitchen Workshop Attendees will include active Community Kitchens from Espanola, Taos, Gallup and Silver City will be attending. Other community kitchens that are in the pre-startup phase include; Las Vegas, El Morro, Anton Chico, Ribera, Raton, Edgewood and Lordsburg. The day long conference will provide opportunities for community kitchens to learn how to provide all the right ingredients and inspire the startup of rural food business across the state using the Mixing Bowl model. Additionally NMSU Arrowhead Center has put together a great agenda for the afternoon of session. Pre Start up kitchens will be learning about the business planning side of starting and operating a community kitchen.

Bi-Weekly Video Conference Calls between kitchen statewide are happening. The calls are designed to share successes and challenges between community kitchens statewide.

Chile Fiesta 2015 The Mixing Bowl supports a  thriving food business community, providing growth opportunities and a path to success for entrepreneurs in 2014 the Mixing Bowl in partnership with the SVEDC, South Valley Mainstreet with the support of Bernallilo county held the first ever Chile Fiesta. This years event will be held on August 29 at Gateway Park on Bridge and Isleta. The Chile Fiesta promises to become international in size in the future. Community support was very strong the first year.

View this and other ag news in the April 2015 edition of Local Food Connections >>



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