By David Klassen
Eight community centres across Manitoba are receiving new commercial-grade kitchen equipment as part of an $84,000 investment by the province.
The Manitoba government says the funding is a boost to the future of food innovation, product development and gives an upper hand to entrepreneurs in the province.
“Community centres are often the launching pad for new food products, giving Manitobans access to the space and equipment needed to grow from a home-based business into something more,” said Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler.
Commercial community kitchens receiving funding for new equipment:
• Holland Community Hall Inc. – more than $8,200 for two double convection ovens and a commercial-sized cooler;
• Steinbach Legion, Branch 190 – more than $14,300 for three commercial-grade convection ovens for its legion hall;
• Austin and District Community Club Inc. – more than $10,400 for a double convection range for its community hall;
• Cooks Creek Community Centre Inc. – nearly $6,800 for a 30-quart mixer and commercial food processor;
• Rural Municipality of Roblin – nearly $12,500 for a convection oven, 30-quart mixer and commercial food processor for its community centre;
• Town of Swan River – more than $10,000 for a semi-automatic labeller and date coder for the Veteran’s Community Hall;
• Riverview Community Centre (Winnipeg) – more than $8,600 to purchase a commercial dehydrator and freezer; and
• FortWhyte Alive (Winnipeg) – nearly $13,200 for a 20-quart mixer, tilting kettle, commercial freezer and food processor for FortWhyte Farms teaching kitchen.
“As a teaching facility with a focus on youth and agriculture, FortWhyte Farms is excited to be part of the growing trend of social innovation here in Manitoba,” said Danielle Mondor, manager, FortWhyte Farms. “This shift is ultimately increasing local products, young entrepreneurs and food diversity, and we think that’s a great thing.”
Such commercial community kitchens are often rented out by startup food entrepreneurs and can be used to cater dinners, social events and other celebrations.