The soon-to-open FEED Kitchens is the latest Wisconsin-based food incubator facility. FEED, which stands for Food Enterprise & Economic Development, Kitchens is a commercial kitchen facility sporting 5 rentable kitchens designed for use by local food entrepreneurs and supporting the development of food-related businesses. The kitchens are equipped with specialized equipment for large scale baking, produce preparation and processing, deli prep and meat processing. Most people do not realize that all edible goods sold at our cherished farmer’s markets and local cafes must be produced in inspected and approved kitchens. This is a difficult hurdle for the individual with a knock-your-socks off salsa recipe who does not have the time or resources to install and maintain a certified kitchen facility in their home. Rental space at FEED is available by the hour to maximize access to legal kitchen facilities for individuals looking to start a food-based business. The kitchens will also be available for non-profit groups and cooking instructors to offer training and classes.
The food theme carries through to the exterior of the building, too. The goal of the landscape design was to provide a “working landscape”, which could support the users of the kitchen as well as reinforce the character of the building. Vierbicher’s landscape architecture staff donated their time and design services for the facility, which is located at the Northgate Shopping Center (Aberg and Sherman Avenues on Madison’s northeast side). Working within the space constraints on this infill site, the landscape incorporates herbs, hops, fruits such as currant, chokeberry, and serviceberry, and even rhubarb. The plants are arranged in neat, garden-like rows, which are both a compliment to the modern, almost industrial style of the building and in juxtaposition to the “wild” form that edibles often take. The plant palette is rounded out with staples such as yew and spirea which provide color into the fall and winter.
FEED Kitchens is scheduled to be up and running in September 2013. For more information, visit the FEED website at www.feedkitchens.org.