To get involved, learn more, and to find a way to help bring the Local Foods Campus to life, all of the information and action items you need are right here! Please browse through this page and participate in any way that you like. To make the Local Foods Campus a reality, we need your support, interest, and action to make the voice of Local Food in Colorado heard loud and clear.

Who We Are

The team consists of Vern Tharp, Nathan and Kimberly Mudd, John Hay, and Dale Kamibayashi, in addition to many strategic partners throughout the Colorado Local Food Chain. Our team has vast experience in Local Food Systems, Capital Formation, Public Policy, Food Production and Manufacturing, and Retail Outlet Creation and Management.
Partially, but not exactly. Our core team maintains Decision-Making, Management, and majority share control. However, we are partnering with multiple growers, producers, packagers, and many other Local Food Related companies who will all have shares and ownership interests in the Project as a whole. On the shopper side, we are exploring an REI-esq ownership/co-op model that will allow everyone to participate in the success of the Local Foods Campus. Finally, anyone will be able to participate as an owner through our forthcoming Crowd Funding effort where we will raise funds for the success of the many projects we conducting in exchange for ownership shares.
Our primary goal and our guide, is to positively impact the Local Economy through Local Food. As our food system is essential in so many aspects of life, many positive goals are achieved when the food system is localized, including: strengthening our local economies; less intense agricultural practices that reduce water pollution, fossil fuel consumption; reduced carbon emissions from less traveled food; quality, healthy, and affordable food free of chemicals; help grow small Local Food Companies, Producers, and Farmers; provide a consistent and fair marketplace for consumers and producers; create abundant efficiencies in the local food system from Controlled Agriculture Environments, to preparation, packaging, and delivery systems; educate consumers and young food-focused entrepreneurs; and create a fully transparent and honest food choice for consumers.

Phased Project

The project consists primarily of four phases: Local Foods Company Incubator and Accelerator, Small Batch Packaging Facility, Culinary Arts Educational Facility, and Local Foods Retail Center. To realize each aspect of the project, we have created multiple partnerships with existing companies or organizations that specialize in areas such as farmers and greenhouse growers, delivery systems, retail management and startup, packaging and processing, strategic business formation and management/execution, culinary and agricultural education, and regulatory and health compliance.
We will start with the build out of the center at the Hidden Lakes Shopping Center. The center will be the permanent home of the retail center, will initially house the Local Foods Company Incubator, and be the “Hub” from which all phases of the project will follow. We are currently finalizing future homes for Culinary Arts Educational Facility, Small Batch Packaging Facility, and greenhouse/farm space for our demonstration and growing facilities.
The First building Phase of the project is projected to take between 9 and 12 months once all funding is secured. We anticipate “breaking ground” in Spring of 2017.
The simplest answer is that we still want to add Shoenberg Farms to Local Foods Campus. In Fall of 2015, the City of Westminster released a “Request for Proposal,” inviting all interested parties to submit their proposed plans for the rejuvenation of the city owned farm property. Because our plans provide for the Shoenberg portion after the start of the Hidden Lakes property, we were not able to participate in the process. It appears that all other interested Parties also did not participate in the City’s RFP process, so our options for the future remain open.

Funding

The Local Foods Campus is seeking City assistance in the form of Urban Renewal Authority Bonds to help with the “Build Out” of the interior of the Campus. (Funds to “Operate” the Campus will be secured through other means, and may include City participation as well.) The Community Asset nature of the project requires public participation (City Funding), as typical “investors” or “developers” have other goals in mind with projects of this nature. After a period of five years, Local Foods Campus intends to “purchase” all of the assets that make up the retail center, thus repaying the city.

What Happens Now and Helping Bring the Campus to Life

Supporter and Citizen involvement are the most important factors in the success of the Local Foods Campus. We have many opportunities for you to Volunteer, spread the Local Foods message, or participate in the Local Foods Campus. Some of the easiest and most impactful items you can do include: Signing our Informed Letter of Consent, Emailing and calling Westminster City Council members and City Staff leaders, Participating in the conversation on our social media, Joining or participating in an existing Local Foods Campus Awareness Group, or start one with our help. Again, the most important thing we can do is to gather as many supporters as possible, inform as many people as possible, and to show your demand for quality, healthy, affordable local food.
Yes You Can!! To review the letter and sign it, please check it out here.
The best way is to sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on Social Media. We also have events scheduled throughout the year where we share in our progress and update folks on all things new in the Local Foods world. Feel free to come out and meet the team and show your support. You can sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media.
We do have Volunteer Opportunities. For more information and to contact us about availability, please fill out our Join the Team form here:

Random Questions and Corrections

This is indeed a State-Wide effort with participants ranging from farmers to producers to Governmental Agencies to interested shoppers and investors all over the state. To help strengthen our local food system, create a reliable and secure food system, and help our local economies, we invite all interested parties to participate in the Local Foods Campus.
While much of the produce we source can be grown in Controlled Ag Environments (i.e. greenhouses), produce is only a part of the Local Food System. Almost all of the processed foods can be made year round, and proteins (meats, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, etc.) are also available on a year-round basis. While the term Local Food often conjures thoughts of food growing in the field, in reality, it is much larger than that.
The Local Foods Campus is for everyone. Unlike many other specialty food stores (Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts, Lucky’s, Alfalfa’s, etc.) our focus is to create and make healthy, local, eating affordable and convenient for everyone.

Good Public Policy

Spending URA funds on projects of this nature is Good Public Policy. The money helps to rejuvenate neighborhoods in need, creates jobs, creates a true destination point for the city, and strengthens the local economy and improves the lives of the citizens health and wellbeing, not to mention multiple environmental benefits as well.

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Our Strategic Goal

Its simple really: We want to make healthy, local eating affordable and convenient for ALL!

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Economics of Local Food/Local Food Dollar

Local Food has an incredible positive impact of Local Economies. Coloradans spend almost $10 Billion a year on food from grocery stores. If we are able to keep that money in the state of Colorado, instead of exporting it to WalMart, Kroger and Whole Foods, that money will be reinvested in our communities, and not to Wall Street investors. Currently, 60% of all money spent at national stores leaves the community. With LFC, ALL of the money would stay local!

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Strategy

Mayors and cities across the country understand how vital local foods are to the security and success of localized economies throughout the country. Our strategy builds on the demand that now exists for “All Things Local.”

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Extra Available City Money

There is currently $2million a year extra that is generated within the area of the proposed LFC. That money is supposed to spent to improve the area. That is not happening. The money is being used throughout the city on “other” projects. The burden (debt) remains with South Westminster, but the Benefit (proceeds) are being spent elsewhere in the city.

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Purpose & Use of City Urban Renewal Funds

See what URA funds are supposed to be used for, and how perfectly LFC fits within the City’s stated goals.

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Past Uses of URA Funds

Through painstaking research and much delay/obsfucation by staff, we have discovered that nearly $2million a year is generated by the South Sheridan URA, for a total of almost $15million. Aside from a grant to Walmart of over $5million, and another $600,000 to a home developer, NONE of that money has been reinvested in the area, clearly ignoring the spirit of of the law. The LFC is a PERFECT match for the intent and spirit of an Urban Renewal Area.

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Project Economic Impacts

See a side by side comparison of the Local Economic Impact of LFC v Walmart

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Impact of Farmers Markets

The exponential increase in farmers markets nationwide is a clear indicator of people’s demand for local food. With that demand, people are looking for year-round sources of local food.

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Plan for "local foods campus" takes root in Westminster

November 16, 2014 | The Denver Post

WESTMINSTER — Zack Owens wants to ramp up production of his raw, unfiltered honey from 350 bottles a week to at least twice that. But the owner of Lazy Bee Ranch says trying to do that in his small bottling facility in Hudson is proving a significant challenge, and renting out space in a commercial kitchen is cost-prohibitive. Then there's the hurdle of trying to find additional venues, aside from seasonal farmers markets, to sell his honey.

That's where a budding initiative in Westminster — a local foods campus featuring a manufacturing and packaging facility, a business incubator and a large retail store — could make all the difference.

Plans are in the works to create a Local Foods Campus in Westminster

September 30, 2015 | The Westminster Window

For Westminster resident Dan Borgman, shopping for locally produced food can be a challenge. “We want the best for us and our kids,” he said. “If you’re trying to go out and buy local foods right now, you would have to drive all over. With three boys, I can’t do that.” But Borgman’s problem could be solved if the plan for a Local Foods Campus, which would create an indoor farmers’ market, becomes reality.

“A local campus like this would make healthy eating a lot easier,” Borgman said.

'Food deserts' pose nutrition problem

July 14, 2015 | The Arvada Press

For families around Jefferson County, finding nutritious food can be more than challenging — it can be nearly impossible, particularly for those without their own transportation. That’s because, whether they know it or not, many families live in what the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls a “food desert.” Food deserts are defined as neighborhoods without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, the only options are fast food or quick-stop stores that offer few healthy, affordable food options.

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