Long Table Grocery founder Amy Quarry has been announced as one of the project managers of the Sprout Kitchen Regional Food Hub and Business Incubator, along with Diandra Oliver. RONAN O’DOHERTY PHOTO

Amy Quarry and Diandra Oliver will manage Quesnel’s new food hub

Sprout Kitchen Regional Food Hub and Business Incubator is expected to be up and running next fall

Long Table Grocery founder Amy Quarry has been announced as one of the project managers for the new regional food hub in Quesnel.

The City of Quesnel is moving forward with the creation of a regional food hub, which was first announced July 31. The Ministry of Agriculture is contributing up to $500,000 towards the development of the food hub, which is one of several Food Hubs recently funded by the ministry in support of the creation of a B.C. Food Hub Network. The Quesnel-based hub was the second one in the province to be announced.

The City announced late last month that Amy Quarry and Diandra Oliver of Small Town Love Media Inc. have been hired as project managers to get the food hub up and running. The project has been named Sprout Kitchen Regional Food Hub and Business Incubator.

“This is an exciting new initiative that supports our economic diversification strategy,” Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson said in a news release. “The City appreciates the leadership the Minister of Agriculture and her staff have shown in initiating fast-tracking this project.”

Quarry is known as the founder of the Quesnel-based local food systems initiative Long Table Grocery, which won “Best Community Impact” at the 2019 Small Business B.C. Awards.

“Long Table Grocery has really shown me the demand for locally-made food products from both consumers and producers,” Quarry said in the release. “I’m so excited to be a part of Sprout Kitchen because I see so much potential and opportunity for entrepreneurs in a stronger local food system.”

Oliver is best known for her work with the Home Sweet Home Economic Project, which ran a provincial Field School in 2016, bringing agricultural extension services and food business workshops to rural communities in rural British Columbia.

“Economic initiatives like Sprout Kitchen really give our communities an opportunity to support new and existing food processing businesses while also creating economic benefit for local agricultural producers and suppliers,” she said.

According to the City of Quesnel, Sprout Kitchen will operate a centralized shared-use food and beverage processing facility in Quesnel by Fall 2020, providing new and established business owners with easy and affordable access to production facilities and equipment. The facility will also include food testing and business support services.

Sprout Kitchen will work with new processors from across the region and support them to get their businesses started while ensuring existing food processors are able to expand their product lines and develop new markets. Sprout Kitchen will also bring more opportunities for farmers, ranchers and wild harvesters to increase revenue by adding value to their products.

To learn more about Sprout Kitchen, email info@sproutkitchen.ca.

READ MORE: Province funding B.C.’s second regional food hub in Quesnel


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