Collier County to Host Groundbreaking Event for the Florida Culinary Center @ Immokalee
Collier County officials, state representatives and others will gather to celebrate Collier Culinary Connection Day on Thursday, March 2. The day will begin with a groundbreaking event at 9 a.m. at the site of the Florida Culinary Accelerator @ Immokalee, 170 Airpark Blvd., No. 103, Immokalee, Florida 34142.
The project is designed as a catalyst to help jump start chef entrepreneurs, farmers and small food businesses by providing an affordable, state-of-the-art kitchen that meets local, state and federal regulatory standards.
Following that groundbreaking, there will be a ribbon cutting event at 11 a.m. for Woodstock’s Market, located beneath the Naples Accelerator, 3510 Kraft Road, Naples, Florida 34105. Members of the Florida Culinary Accelerator @ Immokalee will be able to market their products at Woodstock’s Market, as well as area farmers’ markets and retailers.
“We believe this creates an entrepreneurial ecosystem that will give food innovators the building blocks to create new, exciting products and get them to market in a low-cost fashion,” said Marshall Goodman, director of the Naples Accelerator and the upcoming culinary accelerator.
The Florida Culinary Accelerator @ Immokalee’s 5,274-square-foot kitchen, which will be built in a renovated warehouse, will be completed by June 30 and will feature shared-use, food-processing space for a broad array of hot and cold products, produce, sauces, baked goods, juices and beverages. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences’ Southwest Florida Research & Education Center in Immokalee will provide an adjacent food testing lab.
The accelerator’s structured program will provide culinary, financial, marketing and food certification classes and other services needed to give chef entrepreneurs a jump start in an increasingly competitive market.
“This is another bold and well calculated project to establish infrastructure needed to stimulate the diversification of Collier County’s economy,” said Jace Kentner, director of the Collier County Office of Business & Economic Development.
For more information, contact Economic Research Analyst Aisling Swift at (239) 252-8591.