Mar 092012
 March 9, 2012  Posted by at 5:27 am  Add comments

Forage Kitchen

We’re here to announce the beginning of something really exciting.  After months of planning, we’re finally ready to start working towards making our incubator kitchen a reality! The kitchen will be a space that will bolster the local food economy, while also helping to create businesses that support the community.  We’re embarking on a huge push to get as many people involved as possible, with events such as Wild boar scavenger huntsGypsy Jazz pig roasts, andBasque family-style feasts.

We want the folks who are going to be using the kitchen, whether it’s to take a class, start a business, or hang out in the rooftop garden, to be involved in its creation. That’s why we’re partnering up with all our friends around the city on a huge fundraising push for the next several months.  We’ll have everything from wild boar scavenger hunts to Underground Market street parties –  tons of different events, all focused on developing a space that will support the Bay Area food community. This is very exciting new project for us, and we hope you’ll join us in helping it become a reality.

The Underground Market has given many vendors a platform from which to launch their businesses. It offered a place to get their food in front of thousands of people, make some money, and most importantly, get inspired to take those next steps to starting their own business. Many businesses have been sparked by the market, but what always bothered me was that we couldn’t offer more support, help them with a kitchen space, help them navigate the maze of regulations and permits that starting a food business involves, but most importantly, give them a community of people doing the same thing.

One of the hardest parts of starting a small business is the fact that you are doing it alone.  To have the support of people working next to you who are doing the same thing and facing the same challenges can be an amazingly inspiring. We want to create  space for people to be inspired to create a businesses that bolster the local food system and support our local economy.  That is our mission.

This will be a space not only for professional food makers, but for the entire Bay Area food community,with different membership levels that allow people to use the kitchen from anywhere from a couple hours a month to 40 hours a week. Say you want to can 100 jars of jam, but aren’t sure exactly how to do it, and can’t imagine the mess in your small kitchen, we will have space for you. Along with training on professional equipment, as well as support to guide you through the process.

Don’t want to rent space but want to learn to cook, we’ll have classes. Want to learn how to butcher using professional equipment? There’s space for you too. We now have a potential space in SOMA,: a 10,000 sq.ft amazing building, with an acre rooftop that we will transform into a garden, yeilding produce for the kitchen downstairs.  We’ll have workshops, classes, potlucks and parties, as well as a cafe in the front that sells incubator vendor products, in order to give vendors a easy entry point into selling. On top of all that, we’re also planning on working with local farmers and ranchers to get more of their products into the city through group buying through the kitchen.

Something like this has only one problem: it costs a lot of money to build.  We’re in the midst of talking to investors, but since this is a space for all of us, we thought it would be cool to involve all of you in the process. We’re  going to be sending out a kickstarter soon, but we also thought it’d be fun to augment this with what we do best: events.

We’re going to be organizing some amazing fundraising events over the next couple months; everything from potlucks,  city-wide scavenger hunts, movie nights with wild boar ramen, to sit down dinners.  We already have several events in the works, but if you are interested in partnering with us on a fundraiser, or have a space you’d like to donate for a night, please let us know. I’m excited to hear the ideas you have and meet more of you over the coming months.

  14 Responses to “Fundraising for Forage Kitchen”

  1. Fantastic! And just what I would expect from you, so congratulations – in advance of it all. Last week I wrote an email to Iso with my fund raising idea, so will leave it at that for now. But count me in – and I am interested in teaching, too.

  2. I am so excited for you guys, this is such a game changing idea!

  3. I have an idea with using food that would be thought of as waste and trying to held feed less than fortunate families in the community, I honestly don’t know where to start.
    I have been manifesting it for quite some time now, waiting on the universe.
    Thought it couldn’t hurt to shoot you an email too.
    I would love your thoughts and or collaboration.

  4. i’m in! cant wait to help, grub, booze, and boogie down!

  5. I am working on starting a small mobile dessert business of my own. At some point in the future, once I have everything in place, I would love to partner up with you for a fundraising event where I donate a portion of my sales. Please keep me informed and stay in touch. Best, Baljit.

  6. I’d love to be a part of this. Cooking lessons would be great – also talking about the “value” of vegen diet after reading China Study. How could I give up lamb?

  7. SO pumped to hear this is under way! I’m ready to help with any design needs you guys may have!

  8. Its gonna be a good time!

  9. Sarah
    Sounds like a good idea. Have you contacted Food Runners? We’re pretty focused on our projects at the moment, but Food Runners would be a good place to start with that idea.

  10. Well thank you very much Melissa, appreciate the support.

  11. Hey guys,

    I’d like to get involved with your project. When finished it sounds like a godsend to folks like myself who want to start a foodie something-or-other. I’m pretty handy and have construction experience if you are looking for that kind of help when you get started. A friend of mine just had a beer and chocolate festival at his space, so maybe you could do something like that. Heck you could even rent out their space for something like that.

  12. Is this for San Franciscans only or is the Peninsula in the plan?

  13. Super wonderful to hear there are more community kitchens in the making. Right on.

    This is a message to Sarah LaShelle and anyone else interested:

    USF Garden Project, Capstone, and St. Cyprian’s are hosting the first of many community dinners at Turk and Lyon in the Western Addition – all the food is gleaned from local businesses, including the three farmers markets in the neighborhood. Check this link for more info: or email me:


  14. Muchisimas felicidades!!!!! This is much needed! Fuerza, garras y pa’ delante!

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