The New Orleans Food & Farm Network (NOFFN), in partnership with St. Charles Parish, have launched a brand new food hub, an incubator for both food and farm entrepreneurs designed to expanded available resources. The initiative hopes to grow the number of users for the only licensed food technology incubator facility in Norco, LA.
Additional support for the incubator, including technical assistance, comes from Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation as part of its Social Venture Accelerator program.
A member of the Propeller team explained that when it comes to bringing fresh, healthy food to New Orleanians, there has long been a missing middle between growers and distributors: manufacturers making products out of those foods. The new network will bridge that gap by giving entrepreneurs a place to test out business models, processes, and recipes.
“This licensed food manufacturing incubator kitchen facility is a great resource for food manufacturers to safely produce their products, deliver consistent quality to both small and large customers and, with the support and tools of the Food & Farm Works team, to understand the business side of this business for the best chance for success,” said Dianne Sclafani, Propeller’s Food and Restaurant Consultant to the initiative.
The goals of NOFFN are to lower the risk threshold for opening a food businesses, and simplifying the pathways and procedures requires for new and existing food manufacturers and farmers to grow, become sustainable, and provide food to customers. Overall, the Network wants to re-localize the food economy in the New Orleans area.