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Press Release – Can-Do Kitchen Seeks Support For Move

May 18, 2011

From a Fair Food Matters press release…

The Can-Do Kitchen, the region’s only food business incubator, is seeking community donations for a capital campaign that will allow the program to relocate and expand.

A program of Fair Food Matters, the Can-Do Kitchen offers food entrepreneurs a low-risk, low-cost environment to test products, recipes and their own ability to run a small business. A variety of retailers throughout the region carry products made in the kitchen, including Mike’s Famous Michigan Bean Dip, Happy Mouth Vegan Treats, Karabread products, cookies and granola from The Adventures of Barb & Tammy, Ageless Pantry iced tea, Buzzelli’s fresh mozzarella and others.

Program Manager Lucy Bland said the kitchen functions as an economic development tool. “Clients are encouraged to use local ingredients for their products, and local services for their business – such as marketing, accounting and packaging firms – all of which helps keep the local economy strong.”

In addition, the Can-Do Kitchen places a special emphasis on empowering women. Currently, 9 of 10 regular clients are women-owned businesses, as are the two graduates of the program: Kurry Guru and The Cheese Lady.

Because of the increasing demand for this service, the Can-Do Kitchen is moving from its current location in the First Baptist Church in downtown Kalamazoo to 511 Harrison Street (in the new site of the People’s Food Co-op) in June. The new 1,360-square-foot space will include two cooking/baking stations, one packaging station, two dishwashing stations, product storage space and office space.

The new space will also serve as a community asset, a place where adults, teens and children can gather for classes and meetings on cooking, canning, nutrition, and other food-related topics – with a focus on serving the underserved.

Capital campaign funds are being used to purchase and install commercial kitchen equipment and appliances, to fund design for the space, and to cover expenses related to relocating and expanding the program.

The campaign goal is $189,930, of which $117,808 (62 percent) has been raised through foundation grants and individual and corporate donations.

All donations are tax-deductible, and any amount, large or small, will help the Can-Do Kitchen remain a vital part of economic and community development in the region. More information, including a campaign brochure and instructions on how to make online donations, is available at

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