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 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.
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
Ryan Sinclair, Cleveland County (Rison): (501) 744-8236
Free Webinar: April 21st 12-1pm Central Time
The Basics of Producing Value-Added Food Products from Farmers Market Surplus
Hosted by Drs. Renee Threlfall, Amanda McWhirt and Graduate Student Morgan Gramlich
This webinar will focus on the steps and economics for using certified kitchens of Cottage Food Law to create value-added products from surplus produce collected at farmers markets or on farm.
Produce farmers, you don't want to miss this!
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
Develop manual and policies
Trial opening with pilot clients
Facility Registration with FDA
Grand opening - dates to be announced
Begin developing Aggregation Center for produce growers
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.