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Calling all food vendors; Commercial kitchen in works
PERU- Friends of Peru Elementary School met last week with members of the River Valley Growth Council and Marshall Piper of the Department of Agriculture, Food & Rural Resources to iron out the process of what’s involved in becoming a commercial kitchen.
Since voters approved the FPES to take over control of the former elementary school last fall, the group has been working diligently to find ways to make the building functional for area citizens.
Currently, there are zumba classes held in the space, the Neighborly Senior Citizens meet there, among other groups, and it is home to the Servant’s Heart Food Pantry, not to mention the community breakfasts that are held. The space is also for rent for birthday parties and celebrations of all sorts.
This latest venture is to help area food vendors who may not have the space to create their product, the opportunity to have a centrally-located, state-inspected kitchen to manufacture their goods.
“This is a great thing for the area,” noted Piper. “It’s easier than you think and I hope people don’t let fear hold them back.”
RVGC representatives Bill Hine and Jim Rinaldo were on hand to show their support of the project and to see how their group can be of support.
“We often get inquiries on where someone may be able to have use of a shared kitchen,” noted Rinaldo. “This will definitely be a great addition to the area.”
The FPES will have to obtain a license to host the kitchen and draw up guidelines for those vendors who wish to use it. Each vendor will then be responsible for applying for their own license to operate out of the commercial kitchen.
FPES was informed that each vendor will be liable for their own food product, leaving FPES clear of any liability when it comes to the vendors actions.
Vendors will be inspected on a regular basis and responsible for following the guidelines set by the FPES and the consumer protection inspector. Piper also stated that vendors from other states will be cross-referenced in order to protect consumers.
“This is a great opportunity,” noted Nick Waugh, president of FPES. “I’m happy we’re able to make this building available for so many different opportunities.”
There will be an informational meeting on September 19 at 6 p.m. at the former elementary school for anyone wishing to become a vendor.
More information can be obtained by contacting Nick Waugh by email at email@example.com or by calling 562-7287, also by contacting the River Valley Growth Council at 369-0396. Mention that you’re interested in learning more about the commercial kitchen.