UACES Facebook Arkansas Share Grounds | Kitchen Incubator and Aggregation Center

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.share grounds logo

What is Share Grounds?

The Share Grounds project offers an innovative approach to bring solutions to rural communities by utilizing existing facilities and infrastructure at the County Fairgrounds.

 

This project will establish three kitchen incubator and aggregation centers at these fairgrounds:

  • Searcy (Marshall)
  • Cleveland (Rison)
  • Three County (McCrory) 

Check out our short video to learn more.

Download the video transcript


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

Angela Armes, Searcy County (Marshall): (501) 265-9103

John Payne, Woodruff County (McCrory): (501) 744-8243

Ryan Sinclair, Cleveland County (Rison): (501) 744-8236


Upcoming Events

Introductory Workshops

Introductory Workshop Cleveland County Fairgrounds Oct 24 6pm-8pm and Three County Fairgrounds Nov 18 6pm-8pm Searcy County Fairgrounds Nov 19 6pm-8pm

 

A Taste for Food Businesses: Opportunities for Food Processing and Aggregation

In this all-day workshop, participants will learn how to manufacture food products or aggregate produce for commercial markets.


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

Project Timeline

Winter 2019
Complete kitchen modifications
Develop manual and policies
Arkansas Department of Health inspection
Select trial clients
Trial opening

Spring 2020
Kitchen open for rent

FAQs

  • How can I sign up to use the Share Grounds facility?

    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.

  • What services are offered at the Share Grounds?

    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.

  • How can I be involved?

    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.

  • Can I donate to the project?

    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.

     


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.

1. If you live in Searcy (Marshall), Cleveland (Rison), and Three County (McCrory) and would like to serve in a leadership capacity, consider joining a county advisory committee.

2. Join our email list to receive invites to upcoming community meetings.

Contact the Share Grounds Project Manager  if you would like serve on an advisory board or join the contact list.

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1. If you live in Searcy (Marshall), Cleveland (Rison), and Three County (McCrory) and would like to serve in a leadership capacity, consider joining a county advisory committee.

2. Join our email list to receive invites to upcoming community meetings.

Contact the Share Grounds Project Manager if you would like serve on an advisory board or join the contact list

Have Additional Questions?

Please visit our "How to Start a Food Business" page for additional resources. If you still have questions, please fill out this form and we will respond in a timely manner.