Phase I of this Plan is to begin immediately by placing the Local Foods Retail Store in the vacant 29,000 SF former Albertsons site within the Hidden Lake Shopping Center on the Adams County side of the South Sheridan URA.
The City of Westminster’s Strategic Plan contains these concepts that are addressed in the Local Foods Campus plan:
The concept for the Local Foods Campus builds on successful elements developed by other cities and universities that were designed to promote and support their respective local foods markets. We have adapted those proven concepts to fit the specific assets located on and adjacent to the Shoenberg Farms Site. However, no other city or university has had the ability to integrate these successful elements into the cohesive and synergistic arrangement contained in this Westminster Local Foods Campus concept.
Healthy eating made affordable and convenient for the entire community.
Food - a natural connector between rural and urban Colorado.
The Local Foods Campus Retail Center will serve as a year-round indoor Farmers Market-style connection between the rural food producer and the urban food consumer. This Local Foods Campus Retail Center will provide over 900 separate local food products from over 200 local food companies - all within a well-lit, well-organized and professionally managed indoor shopping facility designed to make consistent access to local foods and healthy eating both convenient and affordable. The 900 Local Food Products will include fruit, produce and herbs from apples to zucchinis, as well as a wide selection of eggs, honey, dairy products, beans, flour, jellies, salsas, sauces, meats and more. This Local Foods Retail Center will also feature hundreds of locally made non-food retail products.
Our research indicates that fewer than 10% of the small food producers/farmers in Colorado and the hundreds of products they produce ever find their way to the retail shelves of Whole Foods, King Soopers or other large food retailers. Our targets for the Local Foods Business Accelerator are among the remaining 90%.
The Local Foods Business Accelerator will serve as a resource for these producers to gain the knowledge and resources to grow into sustainable and viable businesses.
The Small Batch Food Processing, Packaging and Storage Facility will allow dozens of local food companies to share a common facility to process, package and store their food products affordably freeing them from the need to create this capability separately on their own.
Unlike a traditional incubator, our emerging company owners do not have to physically sit in our brick & mortar location within the Local Foods Campus in Westminster. The majority are already operating out of their own homes, farms and buildings. For some who don’t have the right environment, our shared office space would give them the benefit of relocating to our Local Foods Campus.
In our experience, the best Path to Investors is a demonstrated Path to Revenue via actual sales to and acceptance of products by the customers. Our Business Accelerator will give participants access to food sector experts with decades of hands-on experience to help our Emerging Food Company Partners quickly grow and succeed, avoiding business pitfalls.
This will include working directly with local high schools, community colleges and universities to help create the skills needed for a quality and trained workforce within the local foods industry.
The proposed Small Batch Facility is a place to turn strawberries into jars of jam, tomatoes & jalapeños into containers of salsa and heads of lettuce into packaged mixed salads. The purpose of the Small Batch Facility is to provide our Emerging Food Company Partners the ability to avoid the expense of each small company having to create their own separate food production and packaging capability, thus allowing them to apply their limited resources to the design and marketing of their food products. Although the food raw materials may have been grown on the Eastern Plains or Western Slopes, this added value process creates jobs here.
College of Agriculture & Life Science
According to architect Fidel Delgado, "Farmers Markets are moving away from seasonal, parking lot produce stands and becoming year-round, self-sustaining, community hubs." In his blog post at the USDA website, Delgado points out that creating infrastructure to support local foods sales helps to strengthen local economies.
Another benefit produced by expanding the local foods industry in Colorado is local job creation and specialized infrastructure. Increasing the consumption of local foods creates the need for increased production of local foods, which in turn increases the demand for employees and more production equipment and more buildings to house the employees and equipment.
Perhaps as important, the skills needed for the jobs created within the expanded local foods industry fit well with a vocational work force for entry level workers as well as a path for the chronically unemployed and underemployed mature workforce that have great leadership and work ethic skills developed over decades of work experience even though their previous specific jobs skills may be seen as outdated by some.
The Brookline Winter Farmers Market is housed at the Arcade Building on Harvard Street in Coolidge Corner. Vendors from the town's seasonal outdoor market moved inside this wonderful, 1927 architectural gem for the winter. Click Here for more details
Vendors, farmers, artisans and shoppers enjoy an indoor Farmers Market experience at Logan Square in Chicago. Click Here For More Information
Local Food is the Economic Driver. Coloradans Spend $9 Billion a year on groceries alone. When that money is spent in National Chain Stores, the vast majority of that money leaves the local economy. However, if that money is spent on Local Food, the impact on Local Economies incredible. For an illustration, "Follow the Money" below:
A key part of the larger plan for the Local Foods Campus and its adaptive reuse of the historic Shoenberg Farms site is the use of the old milk barn as a connecting point for culinary arts”and local foods.
The City of Westminster has already expended significant funds to create a clean and sturdy shell for this old structure. We intend to outfit this shell with a restaurant-quality food preparation and food presentation capability.
We would provide the place and the raw materials and our culinary partners will provide the art and talent. We are actively seeking culinary partners from
This collaboration could ranges from using our facilities to host special food tasting events or class fundraisers to developing recipes for food products we can produce and package in our Small Batch facility and then sell in our Local Foods Retail Store.
The Westminster Local Foods Campus is designed as a Public/Private Partnership. The capital necessary to create the Local Foods Campus will be a combination of public and private sources. The plan for the Local Foods Campus is based on the growing market driven demand for affordable and convenient year round access to local foods, the benefits of affordable healthy foods and the local economic development impact of expanding the supply of local foods, and it is adapted to the realities of the under-utilized and undervalued assets with the existing Urban Renewal Area (URA).
The Local Foods Campus is Intended to be a for-profit enterprise
Our value proposition is based on the optimization of a niche set of local/regional food providers via a hyper efficient local/regional food production and supply chain servicing a limited number of local food stores that generates cash each month. We intend to be more than just a year-round indoor farmers market. We intend to create a blending of a modern food market with the experience of an intimate relationship with and knowledge of local/regional food producers and their products.
Knowing where your food comes from is more than just a neat Saturday morning experience at your local Farmers Market.
Knowing where your food really comes from is also a matter of food safety and protecting your family.
Indications are, that you can not rely solely on the Government to be the watchdog on this critical matter.
You Have to get involved. You have to read the label. You have to ask the questions and get the answers. Food safety is an important personal matter.
To read more from the CDD about Food Safety, click here.
Creating a Community Garden site is an important component within our larger plan for the Local Foods Campus. As with any real estate issue, location is critical. We believe we have identified a viable location for our Community Garden. The site is a approximately two acre parcel within the South Sheridan Urban Renewal Area and adjacent to our Local Foods Retail Center within the Hidden Lakes Shopping Center.
The Westminster Local Foods Campus is Intended to serve as a source of knowledge and learning about the localization of our food supply.
We will establish a pathway to information and knowledge sharing between the food producer and the food consumer using direct relationships between producer and consumer and user-friendly technology and multimedia tools.
There are real and measurable nutritional differences between mega-produced foods and those foods grown, processed and packaged locally. Knowing more about their food empowers every food consumer. The more we know, the better purchasing decisions we can make for ourselves and our families.
The Shoenberg Farms Site is located at the northwest corner of 72nd and Sheridan in Westminster, Colorado. Only a few structures remain from what was once an 800-acre dairy and egg production facility.
The City of Westminster currently owns several of those historic buildings, using monies from the State Historic Fund for some refurbishment. These buildings have remained empty for the last five years.
With a fascinating history, interesting architecture, and a location surrounded by urban development, the Shoenberg Farms Site serves as a gateway to the southern entrance to Westminster. The preservation and adaptive reuse of the Shoenberg Farms Site and its agricultural legacy is one of the key goals of this project. However, the historic Shoenberg Farms site and its buildings are only a small portion of the total area targeted within the larger Local Foods Campus.