Upgrades to Fresh Food Hub Kitchen
Article by Doug LeDuc | KPC News | January 9, 2019
AUBURN — Denise Hoff, founder of Fresh Food Hub at 212 N. Main St., Auburn, described her business in a recent feature of Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, our KPC sister publication:
Hoff holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from the Indiana Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in social work and mental health counseling from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified holistic health coach.
How would you describe Fresh Food Hub?
Fresh Food Hub has a mission to provide its community with high-quality, locally and sustainably produced food at a reasonable cost in the form of groceries and farm-to-table dining.
Our location serves as a storefront for area food producers and as a center where the community can come to learn more about whole food nutrition, health, and other important topics.
In addition to eating good foods, being healthy involves paying attention to the impact we have on the planet as well as on our neighbors. At the Fresh Food Hub, we care about our food, our planet and our community.
How have you developed Fresh Food Hub since starting it?
When we opened our market in 2015, we sought to connect community members through food. We supplied fresh food from local farmers or from small, local entrepreneurs who use locally produced ingredients in the food they make.
Through our educational classes and community outreach, we have worked to get people out of the fast-food lane and back into the kitchen.
Part of our mission is to teach people to cook healthy, delicious food. We offer classes and workshops designed for busy people trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
Last spring, we partnered with the Market Wagon online service in Indianapolis to bring its virtual farmers market experience to the community.
Customers can get on the web to browse Market Wagon’s list of what farmers in the area have available, then order from more than one of them in a single, combined online purchase for a packaged grocery pickup at the Fresh Food Hub.
The arrangement has broadened the selection of fresh, locally produced food available to the community.
What can you share about your latest project?
We need a fully functioning kitchen to advance our goal of bringing our community together through food.
To date, we have installed much of what we need to have a teaching kitchen: sinks, counter space and coolers. One item we lack is a stove and the electrical upgrade needed to accommodate this addition.
Individuals working with me on the kitchen project include Tammy Alvord, who does holistic nutrition counseling for us, and Brandy DePriest, who does media and communications work for us.
How will you use the $1,000 Farnsworth Fund grant you received for the project?
We will use the grant to buy the stove and related equipment, and for the stove’s installation, which will make our teaching kitchen more like most of the home kitchens in our community.
How do you see yourself fitting into the Farnsworth Fund community of entrepreneurs, and how could it benefit you?
I learned about the Farnsworth Fund and its entrepreneurial community through Anton King, executive director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership Inc.
The Farnsworth Fund is important for small businesses like ours, because it helps local entrepreneurs connect to the community, and I would be open to partnering with a mentor through it to further our long-term business strategy.
I would like to be part of the Farnsworth group of local entrepreneurs to expand our network and to be a resource to others.