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Posted on: July 12, 2018

BEDC awarded $91,025 grant for commercial kitchen / food entrepreneur program

Brookings, S.D. July 12, 2018  Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), through Vision Brookings Foundation, has received a USDA Rural Business Development Grant to create a commercial kitchen and implement a technical assistance program to assist the efforts of area food entrepreneurs.

The kitchen will be located at 420 Main Avenue in downtown Brookings. BEDC is partnering with building owners Dusten Hendrickson and Kelan Bludorn of Kind Properties on the development and administration of the new program. There will also be retail space available for businesses to sell what they have produced in the kitchen, creating a public market that will serve as a year-round gathering space for the community.     

“We are so honored to receive this grant for the Brookings area and are excited to see how the commercial kitchen will help entrepreneurs throughout the area take their businesses to the next level,” said Jennifer Quail, Director of Entrepreneur Support for BEDC. “Kind Properties is going to be a great partner in this community venture. Dusten and Kelan have already come up with many creative ideas and ways to utilize this one-of-a-kind resource.”

Quail expects the kitchen will have a significant impact on the community, both for the small and emerging food businesses such as caterers, bakeries and meal preparation services, and for residents to use for canning, holiday baking, cooking classes, group events and more.

“This kitchen will serve as a hub for local entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses and gain exposure within the community,” said Quail. “We also anticipate intergenerational, food-related activities for family and friends to be able to connect, grow and learn together.”

Construction of the kitchen will begin immediately. BEDC will be working with local entrepreneurs to determine what equipment to purchase and the types of classes to offer as part of the technical assistance program. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Quail at (605) 697-8103 or jennifer@brookingsedc.com for more information.

The organization received a similar grant in 2015 to create South Dakota’s first community makerspace, a shared workshop that currently has approximately fifty members. The commercial kitchen and the makerspace are just two of the many events and programs available for entrepreneurs and startups through BEDC’s Division of Entrepreneur Support. These resources have helped establish Brookings as one of the top communities for entrepreneurs in the nation.

About Brookings Economic Development Corporation

Brookings Economic Development Corporation is the primary engine for promoting economic growth in Brookings, South Dakota and the surrounding area. The organization’s mission is “To build an economy that supports the community’s vision of a quality place to live, work, and play”.  BEDC designs and implements a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy to grow the area economy through the process of business retention, entrepreneurship and targeted recruitment; and through the creation of an ecosystem supporting the development and advancement of business and industry. For more information on projects and initiatives go to: www.BrookingsEDC.com.


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