Share Grounds: Kitchen Incubator and Aggregation Center Development Project
A partnership between the UA System Division of Ag, USDA Local Food Promotion Program and regional partners in Cleveland, Searcy and Woodruff County.
What is Share Grounds?
The Share Grounds project offers an innovative approach to reduce food production barriers in rural communities by utilizing existing facilities and infrastructure at the County Fairgrounds.
Now open for clients, our three kitchen incubator and aggregation centers are located at the following fairgrounds:
- Searcy (Marshall)
- Cleveland (Rison)
- Three County (McCrory)
Have a food concept?
Consider becoming a client! Get resources to start your own food business and attend our upcoming events to learn more about the services offered at your local Share Grounds facility.
Contact your local Share Grounds Manager
Dawn Kelly, Searcy County (Marshall): (501) 265-9103
Valour Taylor Cobbins, Woodruff County (McCrory): (870) 299-3892
VACANT, Cleveland County (Rison): (501) 744-8236
The Share Grounds certified commercial kitchen facilities are now OPEN and offering a limited number of FREE mentorship services to food producers and farmers. To learn more about this opportunity, view the "Starting your Small Food Business" webinar and fill out an application.
Starting your Small Food Business at the Share Grounds
The Share Grounds goals are to:
1) increase access to and consumption of local foods in Arkansas by expanding utilization and capacity of fairgrounds for aggregation, distribution, and value-added product development,
2) support local farms,
3) develop and expand opportunities for value-added food businesses,
4) foster the growth of regional food economies, and
5) improve access to food in underserved communities and institutions
Begin commercial production with pilot clients
Develop Aggregation Center plans for produce growers
Grand opening - dates to be announced
The Share Grounds kitchens will open Spring 2020 with a pilot group of clients at each site. Farmers, gardeners and small food business are eligible to use the facility.
If you plan to process a food product, visit the ”How to Start a Food Business” page to understand the steps necessary to make your product in Arkansas.
To become a potential client, please visit our client page and contact your local Share Grounds manager to discuss your business needs.
Along with access to a certified kitchen space, the Share Grounds offers an on-site operations manager to assist with food product testing and development, regulatory technical guidance, and dry storage space.
These services and facilities are offered on a fee basis.
***Currently under review***
Please note that most commercial kitchens in the US require nonrefundable application fees, security deposits, 2 month(+) minimum contracts and/or membership plans on top of an hourly rate. The Share Grounds is not the standard model and we are trying to meet producers in the middle.
1. If you live in Searcy (Marshall), Cleveland (Rison), or Woodruff County (McCrory) consider serving in a leadership capacity by joining a county advisory committee.
2. Join our email list to receive invites to upcoming community meetings.
3. Make a donation.
Contact the Share Grounds Project Manager if you would like serve on an advisory board or join the contact list.
Yes! All three sites are accepting donations and non cash gifts, such as pre-approved commercial equipment, donated building materials and labor.
Non cash or in-kind gifts may qualify as a tax-deductible charitable contribution.
Donors will be recognized for their sponsorship at these levels:
$100 - Seed Sower: Website recognition
$250 - Harvester: Logo on marketing brochure & website recognition
$500 - Packer: Name on sponsorship sign at a Share Grounds facility, logo on brochure & website recognition
$1000 - Distributor: Logo on sponsorship sign at a Share Grounds facility, logo on brochure & website recognition
Contact the Share Grounds Project Manager for additional information on how to donate to the project.