Plus New Round of Business Assistance Awards Announced
DETROIT, MICH. December 11, 2018—Thirteen good food enterprises across Michigan were awarded $385,000 in Catalytic Investment Awards from the Michigan Good Food Fund, a statewide initiative working to increase healthy food access and spark economic development and job creation in communities that need it most. Businesses hail from across the state including Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Jackson, Lansing, Midland, Muskegon, Petoskey, Traverse City, and Ypsilanti.
This is the third round of Catalytic Investment Awards that have provided a total of $885,000 to 26 Michigan companies. Four grocery retail projects—including Bridgepoint Development, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Fresh Start CDC, and North Flint Reinvestment Corporation—are receiving a second Catalytic Investment Award to advance their projects.
“These awards are fueling the growth of a more equitable Michigan food system from farm to fork,” said Olivia Rebanal, spokesperson for the Michigan Good Food Fund. “We are thrilled to be able to invest in these high impact projects that create jobs and increase healthy food access.”
The Catalytic Investment Awards are designed to help entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level, including preparing for financing. Awards will be used for a variety of purposes, including infrastructure investments, capital expenditures, and predevelopment work.
In addition to these awards, the initiative is also announcing applications for new business assistance awards where five businesses will receive $1,000 each toward targeted support from the MSU Product Center. Learn more about this award and application process. Applications are due December 31, 2018.
The Michigan Good Food Fund was created in partnership by Capital Impact Partners, Fair Food Network, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Since its launch in June 2015, it has provided more than $12 million in financing supporting 48 enterprises.
This round of Catalytic Investment Award winners includes:
$25,000—Bridgepoint Development, Jackson: Bridgepoint Development is opening Peach Market in June 2019, creating the first fresh food market in downtown Jackson in two generations. In addition to increasing healthy food access with a wide selection of locally-grown and regionally-produced foods, the store is also anticipated to create 11 full time and 21 part time jobs. The award is supporting owners in expanding selling space and outfitting a prep kitchen.
$25,000—Damian’s Craft Meats & Catering, Ann Arbor: Co-owner Damian Rivera, originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, remembers the direct connection with the meat that was served at his family’s dinner table from his local butcher, or carincero. His goal is to create this same connection with food by launching and selling hand-crafted meat products plus catering services. This award is supporting new equipment purchases for his USDA-certified slaughterhouse and meat processing facility.
$40,000—Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Detroit: The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network is a grassroots food justice group founded to ensure that Detroit’s African American residents participate in the food movement and lead this work locally. Known for its D-Town Farm and youth programming, its next project is a mixed-use site in the city featuring a cooperatively-owned grocery store. This award provides predevelopment support for this grocery project.
$10,000—Guadalajara #2, Detroit: What began as an eight-foot counter and a dream is now Guadalajara #2, a thriving family-owned restaurant, butcher shop, and grocery store featuring healthy foods in the Springwells neighborhood of Southwest Detroit. This award is supporting storefront improvements and marketing.
$25,000—We the People Growers Association, Ypsilanti: We the People Growers Association is a sustainable farming initiative and urban farm equally dedicated to healthy food access and workforce development including the creation of employment and training for men and women returning from incarceration. This award is supporting equipment and farm material purchases to support a summer 2019 launch on a new 10-acre site.
$40,000—Allen Neighborhood Center, Lansing: This nonprofit organization serves as a hub for neighborhood revitalization and activities that promote the health and well-being of Lansing’s Eastside community through a farmers market, urban growing initiatives, community outreach, and entrepreneur support among other activities. The award supports equipment purchases to build out an accelerator kitchen.
$25,000—Arnold Farms, Midland: Arnold Farm is a garden center in the Midland area that provides hundreds of varieties of flowers, trees, shrubs, and other garden goods. With this award Arnold Farms will purchase equipment to help store and prepare produce for its next project: a hydroponic and micro-green facility to provide fresh produce year-round to the surrounding community.
$40,000—Babylon Enterprises, Flint: Babylon Enterprises, operating as Midway Market, is a grocery store in Flint that provides a full line of groceries, produce, and fresh meats. With this award, it will expand its produce and meat coolers to meet local demand.
$40,000—Fresh Start CDC, Flint: Fresh Start CDC, Inc. is a nonprofit working to enhance economic development and provide resources to communities that are in need. It was established in Flint in 2015. An anchor project is the development of a full-service grocery store to provide city residents in north Flint with access to fresh produce and other food products needed to minimize effects of the water crisis. This award is supporting predevelopment work of this grocery project.
$40,000—North Flint Reinvestment Corporation, Flint: In 2015, as a direct response to the Flint water crisis and departure of two major grocery store chains in north Flint, North Flint Reinvestment Corporation mobilized residents to begin planning the North Flint Food Market, which will be the city’s first co-operatively-owned grocery store. It has now recruited more than 500 member-owners. This award is supporting predevelopment work of this grocery project.
WEST & NORTHERN MICHIGAN
$10,000—Bear Creek Organic Farm, Petoskey: Bear Creek Organic Farm is a trusted producer of certified organic produce and raw honey in northern Michigan. It has been participating in the Ten Cents a Meal program, which provides up to 10 cents per meal in match funding from the state of Michigan for participating schools to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes to their students. This award will help it scale production to meet growing demand.
$25,000—Food for Thought, Traverse City: This farm, food production, and retail company creates its own line of healthy, organic, and natural food and serves as a co-packer for other Michigan good food entrepreneurs. This processing company provides jobs with a low barrier to entry and also offers skill training to create opportunities for advancement. This award will support equipment purchases to help scale its processing capabilities.
$40,000—Muskegon Food Hub—Muskegon: Launched at the Muskegon Farmers Market in May 2017, Muskegon’s first food hub aggregates produce from local growers and distributes it to schools, restaurants, senior centers, and other local outlets. This award will help the food hub increase its volume and sustainability ensuring more healthy, locally sourced food to all area residents.
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