Last updated October 22, 2014

The SEED Garden, Kitchen & Café has four components, a vertical garden, a shared-use inspected commercial kitchen incubator, a café and a retail outlet located in southeastern Hamilton County, Indiana.  The garden will raise organic vegetables, fruits and herbs that will be used in the kitchen by food entrepreneurs to produce their products that will be served in the café or sold in the retail outlet or other locations.  The SEED Garden, Kitchen & Café mission is to provide the Support and Encouragement for Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) for food entrepreneurs wanting to start a food related business or expand an existing business.

The goal is to provide herbs, fruits, and vegetables to be grown year round in a controlled vertical garden environment.  The vertical garden will provide produce to the food entrepreneurs who use the kitchen.  Produce from the garden will also be served in the café or sold to restaurateurs.  The year round vertical garden will convert warehouse space into producing planting space.  The garden contents will be determined by the demands of the food entrepreneurs and consumers.  The produce needed to produce their product will be the focus.    Excess produce will be donated to local food pantries and non-profit organizations so there is minimal waste.  Produce will be planted in cycles as to provide fresh produce year round.

All produce from the garden will be organic and because of a controlled environment, diseases and garden pest are virtually eliminated.  This growing method gives fresher, tastier, healthier, and less expensive produce.  Vegetables in the vertical garden may include carrots, radishes, cucumbers, lettuce and other salad greens, various peppers, onions, and beans.  Fruits may include tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and melons.  Fresh year-round herbs may include basil, cilantro, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic, ginger, lavender, marjoram, mustards, and chives. 

The kitchen will allow food entrepreneurs use of an inspected and approved kitchen without having to incur the expenses of setting up their own kitchen.  The kitchen is an incubator for new food entrepreneurs starting their business or by established companies that do not need a kitchen full time.  The kitchen will provide food preparation areas and a variety of baking and cooking equipment to be rented by its users.  Users include bakers, cake decorators, candy makers, caterers, cooking instructors, dietitians, personal chefs, specialty food producers, and other food related businesses.  Secure freezer and refrigerated storage areas as well as secure dry storage areas will also be available.  A small café and retail sales area, open to the public, will allow users to introduce and sell their products.

The SEED Garden, Kitchen & Café assists and encourages new businesses to start up and expand in the food industry, helps businesses grow, and builds networks of businesses and industry professionals.  The SEED Garden, Kitchen & Café will also create a number of new jobs in the community directly and indirectly.

The concept of vertical gardens and shared use kitchens is not unique.  The SEED Garden, Kitchen & Café is unique because it brings together all the components of a food related venture.  Some users have indicated only seasonal use while others are looking for a kitchen to use on a weekly or monthly basis.  Some users are only looking for a kitchen for a one-time project while others want to operate part-time businesses.  A continuing source of users is anticipated as new food entrepreneurs emerge.

We are looking for those who would be interested in using the kitchen, café, retail store, and incubator.  Those individuals are unique and special persons who are thinking about, wanting to start, or are already in a food related business either part time or full time that lack the financial resources to outfit a complete kitchen.  Those entrepreneurs can come together and share our facility and services and save time and money.

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