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Local Food Promotion Meeting Scheduled

Posted December 5th, 2015

  • A Downtown Eau Claire Idea Lounge was held in March.

The local food movement continues to grow in our area. Restaurants and grocery stores are looking to fulfill consumer demand while producers and vendors are seeking greater business opportunities.

The City of Eau Claire is trying to help enable this area of economic development more by offering a local food promotion meeting. We have already helped by providing the pavilion for the downtown farmers’ market, giving Market Match (SNAP) assistance, and by obtaining a USDA Local Food Promotion Program grant.  This grant allowed us to complete a study to see if an indoor public market in downtown could work.  Based on strong consumer interest and market analysis research, the study found that a 10,000 square foot grocery, sourcing local food and paired up with several independent local food retail vendors, could serve the community. More information on the study can be found here: http://eauclairewi.gov/departments/community-development/public-market. A similar example can be found in Bellingham, WA with The Bellingham Public Market.  See attached information sheet.

To continue momentum around a place where local food business can sell year-round, we invite you to a meeting on December 19th, 2016, from 3 p.m. to approx. 5 p.m. at Eau Claire City Hall’s North Conference Room (2nd floor). This meeting will focus on the progress of the hybrid public market concept, learn about and discuss opportunities with current stakeholders (Commonweal Development and Just Local Food Cooperative), network with others, brainstorm, and lastly, discover local food system business assistance resources from UW-Extension.  Please see the attached meeting agenda.

Parking is available in City Hall’s back visitor row section, in the Farwell Street parking ramp and east of the library in the parking lot across from Dewey St.  Please RSVP in advance to Ned Noel, Associate Planner by calling 715-839-8488 or emailing ned.noel@eauclairewi.gov

Finally, we recognize that many are committed to local food as a business venture, and that there are other opportunities available.  This meeting, while focused on the public market concept, may also prove worthwhile in networking with others on these possibilities.

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