FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2012
Contact: Kevin Coburn, Director of Communications
Windham Foundation Grant Will Support Commercial Kitchen at GMC
POULTNEY--Green Mountain College has received a $10,000 grant from The Windham Foundation to provide new food processing equipment for the College's Solar Harvest Center commercial kitchen. The purchase of small appliances and wares will allow the kitchen to offer services to farmers, producers and community groups that are not available elsewhere in Rutland County.
Renovation of the kitchen, which included a ten-burner, two-oven Garland range, a commercial dishwasher, a three-bay sink, and a commercial-scale refrigerator, was completed last February. After trial uses by community groups, certain essential items were identified as lacking including commercial-quality pots and pans, sheet trays, high quality knives, cutting boards, bowls, mixers, food processing equipment, scales and a cryovac machine.
“This funding is really essential to getting the most out of the kitchen facilities,” said Garland Mason, who is the new agricultural markets research associate at the College. “When fully-equipped, the kitchen will be a great resource for local food entrepreneurs to process fresh food efficiently and get their products to the marketplace.”
Before renovation of the Solar Harvest Center kitchen, the closest commercial kitchen available for rent was 25 miles away from Poultney and over state lines in Salem, N.Y. This had legal implications for Vermont producers wishing to create specialty products in a commercially certified space because products were subject to stricter New York State laws, which limit cottage industry and food entrepreneurship. The College's facility also provides the opportunity for small-scale processors to exceed the $10,000 limit of gross-annual income earned from the sale of food products processed outside of a commercially-certified kitchen, as regulated by the Vermont Department of Health.