Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Does Sun Prairie Need a Kitchen Incubator?

The following story popped up on WKOW's website yesterday:

Capital City Cookies is close to their one year anniversary in December. Though they do not have a retail space, you can find them at farmer’s markets and cater their cookies to your events. Robin and Jerry Kempfer started the company and make the cookies themselves. I joined Robin at Golden Days Bakery in Sun Prairie where they rent kitchen space.

(Click here for article and link to the video segment on how they make their Sea Salt Caramel Pecan Cookies.)

Now, there have been at least one or two other people in town who have approached the City about getting permission to run food related businesses from out of there houses. It raises the question if there is a growing demand for commercial kitchen space in the Sun Prairie area. Are there possible businesses that would use such a space, and might those businesses eventually spin off into the community as they grow? I am guessing there are. Both Golden Days Bakery and Capital City Cookies are great examples of food businesses. Add to that Carl's Cakes and the bakery at Market Street Diner all the way up to Village Hearth Bakery in the Business Park, and it suddenly seems like we're developing a baking cluster right here in Sun Prairie.

It is also interesting to note that the American Legion building already has a full commercial kitchen in it, as well as plenty of space for storing products, processing foods, retail, dining, classes, and a multitude of other food related uses. A great example of this sort of use is in Algoma, Wisconsin. Click here to learn more about their kitchen incubator.

If you or someone you know would be interested in learning more about how a kitchen incubator might work, and if you would use such a facility if it was available to you, drop Neil Stechschulte an e-mail or call at (608) 825-0894. If we get a significant response, we'll set up a meeting to discuss this idea more.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sun Prairie Native to Lead Wisconsin's "Voice of the Biotechnology Industry" (Wisconsin State Journal)

Congratulations to Bryan Renk on his new position of Executive Director for BioForward (formerly the Wisconsin Biotechnology and Medical Device Association). He and his family have been producing seeds for four generations, helping farmers grow high-quality corn, soybeans and alfalfa through their company, William F. Renk and Sons in Sun Prairie.

We look forward to working with Bryan to expand Biotech business opportunities right here in Sun Prairie, as well as throughout the Madison region and the State of Wisconsin.