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Bistro, shared kitchen about to open

Stimulating Economic Progress (STEP) announced the pending completion of its shared community kitchen, located in the Mall of Wadena (Village Emporium) building in downtown Wadena.

The construction and plumbing for the Harvest Thyme Bistro and Prairie Rivers Kitchen are now complete and the equipment is in, said Dave Evert.

"We are waiting to complete the air exhaust system and the final electricity," Evert said. "The bistro will officially open Nov. 27."

"In the shared use kitchen, now named Prairie Rivers Kitchen, we will launch a marketing association made up of growers, food service directors, chefs and food entrepreneurs all working together to build a dynamic local food system," Evert said.

A successful local food system must include:

• Planning crop production to meet specific buyer needs

• Processing and packaging to make using local food practical and convenient

• Pricing that is affordable to the buyer and profitable to the producer

• Efficiencies of scale so producers remain collectively competitive

• New marketing, education and communication resources

STEP is holding two meetings for growers and producers. Meetings will be held from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 23 and Tuesday, Nov. 24 in the third floor Masonic Hall above the Village Emporium, 114 Jefferson St. S.

At the meeting, growers and producers will be invited to join the Prairie Rivers Marketing Association and form a leadership team to guide the programs and actions this association will undertake on their behalf.

In addition, those who attend will gain a better understanding of the kitchen and how it can help improve grower and producer income.

Finally, STEP will gain a clearer understanding of the crops raised locally, the amount and the timing, as well as begin to understand and eliminate market place obstacles.