Category: News

An Eventful April for Our Food Business Incubator!

We’re thrilled to announce that three new food businesses have joined our Incubator:

  • Boujee Food & Things serves up comfort food, re-imagined. Check out their catering menu, visit their website, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.
  • Monique’s Hot Kitchen offers authentic Kenyan cuisine made with natural ingredients. Give their catering menu a look, and follow them on Facebook.
  • East and West Catering brings fresh flavors from East and West Africa. Their catering menu is coming soon; in the meantime, visit their website to learn about their offerings.
[caption id="attachment_2900" align="alignright" width="252"] Naija Buka's Chef Lilian will launch new sauces at the Cheese and Meat Festival in Seattle on April 20.[/caption]

Tasty events in April

Meet the owners of the new businesses -- and other talented FIN entrepreneurs – at exciting events coming up this month:
  • Wednesday, April 10: East and West Catering will begin holding dinner-to-go pop-ups from 5-10 p.m. at Ubuntu Street Café (202 W. Gowe St. in Kent). They have more pop-ups scheduled at the same time and location on April 13, 15, 17, 22, 24, and 29. Their April 13 grand opening pop-up will feature complimentary food and in-store dining.
  • Friday, April 12: Boujee Food & Things will begin holding dinner-to-go pop-ups from 5:30-9 p.m. at Ubuntu Street Café (202 W. Gowe St. in Kent). They have more pop-ups scheduled at the same time and location on April 16, 18, 19, 25, 26, and 30. Find them on Uber Eats if you’re looking for delivery!
  • Saturday, April 13: FIN's Taste Around the Globe booth will make its debut at Pike Place Market featuring Boujee Food & Things! Come get a delicious lunch or snacks between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Find them in the new MarketFront plaza near indi chocolate and Honest Biscuits. Our booth at Pike Place Market will feature rotating FIN food businesses on April 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28.
  • Saturday, April 20: Naija Buka will launch their new Mama’s Stew Sauce and Mama’s Jollof Sauce products from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Cheese and Meat Festival. Learn more and get tickets on the event website.
  • Saturday, April 27: Mamá Tila will be featured at Project Feast’s Migrating Meals. Learn more and get tickets on the event page.

 

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Video: Mamá Tila Catering Spices Up Events With Authentic Mexican Food

Over the last few weeks, we've shared videos profiling each of our Food Business Incubator program participants. It's time for our fifth and final video, which features Mamá Tila Catering: Ofelia named Mamá Tila after her mother, who was known as the best cook in her town. Ofelia takes her time preparing authentic dishes from across Mexico, including many of her mother’s recipes. Check out Mamá Tila’s menu! And if you haven't yet seen all of our business profile videos, catch up now:

 

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Video: Sherehe Kenya Kitchen’s Tasty Meals Are Made From Scratch

We're continuing to roll out videos about participants in our Food Business Incubator, and this week we're featuring Sherehe Kenya Kitchen. Sherehe Kenya Kitchen founder Lucy loves sharing healthy meals using recipes she learned from her mother. Don’t miss her chicken curry, samosas, and ginger chai. Check out Sherehe Kenya Kitchen’s menu, and stay tuned for more videos in our business profile series!

 

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Video: Taste of Congo Serves Up Unique Flavors

It's time for another video in our profile series of FIN food businesses! This week we're featuring Taste of Congo: The only Congolese food business in our region, Taste of Congo offers a one-of-a-kind experience! Founder Caroline encourages you to try her beignets, which can be enjoyed any time of day. Check out Taste of Congo's menu, and stay tuned for more videos in our business profile series.

 

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Video: Naija Buka Is Always a Crowd-Pleaser

It's time for the second video in our FIN food business profile series! This week we are featuring Naija Buka: Chef Lilian makes delicious, authentic Nigerian cuisine. Try Naija Buka's popular jollof rice, as well as fried plantains, peppersoup, puff-puffs, and more. Check out their pop-up event at Project Feast's Ubuntu Street Café on March 9! Can't wait that long to get your fix? Visit Naija Buka's new website to see their menu and make your order. Then stay tuned for the next video in our business profile series.

 

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Video: Soozveen Mediterranean Catering Owners Cook With Love

We're excited to share the first of five videos profiling FIN Food Business Incubator participants! This week the spotlight is on Soozveen Mediterranean Catering. Sisters Sheelan and Zozan founded Soozveen because they wanted to share family recipes and stories. Try their dolmas, hummus, falafel, and other dishes made from scratch and flavored with the spices of Northern Iraq. And don't forget dessert -- their baklava and jasmine cookies are out of this world! Check out Soozveen’s menu, learn more about our Food Business Incubator, and stay tuned for videos featuring Sherehe Kenya Kitchen, Naija Buka, Mamá Tila Catering, and Taste of Congo coming out over the next four weeks!

 

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Our Food Business Incubator Is Making a Big Impact — and It’s Growing!

Our Incubator pilot program hit some big milestones in 2018! Participants share how it’s helped them in our new video; here's a breakdown by the numbers:

  • five new businesses launched since late 2017
  • over 55 catering orders coordinated through FIN
  • 21 farmers market days through our Taste Around the Globe booth at the Federal Way and Renton farmers markets
We're ready to build on this success and expand this valuable program! Tukwila Village Food Hall, now under construction and set to open next winter, will give the Incubator room to grow. Our new commercial kitchen will accommodate at least 20 food businesses, including eight that will rent retail stalls in the food hall. Learn more about this exciting project, and stay tuned for updates -- soon we'll recruit food businesses to join us at the new space!

Get involved

Big thanks to our funding partners

We're grateful to the Port of Seattle, Communities of Opportunity, and Seattle Foundation for their generous support of the Food Business Incubator and Tukwila Village Food Hall.

 

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New Volunteer Opportunities: Graphic Design and Marketing Consultants

Use your graphic design or marketing skills to help an emerging entrepreneur launch a new food business! Branding and marketing support is a vital component of FIN’s Food Business Incubator program, which assists entrepreneurs through training, mentoring, and affordable commercial kitchen space. Most program participants are refugees and immigrants with low household incomes. Learn how the Incubator helps participants improve their economic security and build community connections. Responsibilities:

  • Meet with an entrepreneur to develop their branding and/or marketing plan.
  • Branding volunteer will collaborate with the entrepreneur to design a menu, and potentially a logo and business card.
  • Marketing volunteer will establish and develop the business’ presence on web/social platforms. Depending on the marketing plan, this may include Facebook, Instagram, and/or other apps and websites.
  • Volunteer will ensure the entrepreneur is able to maintain their web/social presence and update their marketing materials independently.
Qualifications:
  • Experience in graphic design and/or business marketing is required. Formal training in these skills is preferred.
  • Commitment to racial and social justice is required. Experience collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds is preferred.
Time commitment: Initial commitment is approximately 20-40 hours total on a flexible schedule in spring of 2019. If you’d like, you may choose to continue volunteering with the entrepreneur beyond the launch of their business. You will also have the opportunity to volunteer with a new program participant who will join the program later in 2019. Work location: Volunteer and program participant will meet at least twice in person at a South King County location of their choice. Additional meetings may be held in person or remotely. Support: FIN’s communications lead will facilitate an introduction meeting between volunteers and entrepreneurs, and will also be available to answer questions. About Food Innovation Network: We’re working to build a healthy, prosperous, and connected community in South King County. We do this through food. FIN is a program of the nonprofit organization Global to Local. For more information and to apply for this unpaid volunteer position: Contact Denise Miller, Global to Local's communications specialist, at denise@globaltolocal.org. To apply, please send an email indicating your interest in the position and your relevant qualifications. (Attaching a resume is optional.)

 

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Happy New Year, and Thank You for an Amazing 2018!

Last year, with your help, FIN:

  • added a new Tukwila Village location to Namaste Farm Stand, and offered a total of 39 farm stand days. Together with our partners at IRC New Roots, we became authorized to accept SNAP/EBT payment as well as Fresh Bucks, and we made locally grown produce affordable and accessible for hundreds of customers. Hear from a few of them in this video.
  • supported local food entrepreneurs in launching and growing five new businesses. We also established the Taste Around the Globe booth at the Renton and Federal Way farmers markets; this gives the entrepreneurs an opportunity to build a customer base. In coming weeks we’ll debut video profiles of all these business owners – keep an eye on this site!
  • hosted five Community Kitchen Dinners, a Food and Community Resource Fair, and four cooking classes – all led by community members.
  • expanded our cohort of Community Food Advocates from six to nine. These advocates are at the heart of FIN’s work, from driving our annual planning to leading a training on intercultural leadership development for FIN partners.
  • provided a two-part workshop on food access resources. Participants then shared these resources with their communities through presentations at ESL classes, social media posts, and other outreach.
  • began facilitating the South King Urban Agriculture Network of more than 15 partners focused on supporting land access opportunities and resource coordination for aspiring food growers. We also provided a daylong Farming in King County workshop for refugee and immigrant community members.
We’re excited to build off of this success, and we’re cooking up a lot of great things in 2019. Stay tuned for updates on new food businesses launching, Namaste Farm Stand expanding, and even more fun community events!

 

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“It’s Changed My Life”: Namaste Farm Stand Helps Community Members Improve Their Health

As we closed Namaste Farm Stand’s second season with a celebration dinner, community members told us about their experiences at the stand. Hear what they had to say in our new video: Maria told us that easy access to fresh vegetables helped her control her diabetes. Clo said that her body was healing, and that she also felt better in mind and spirit. Melody shared that she’d lost 60 pounds in the five months since she started visiting the farm stand. She said she learned about nutrition from our partners at WSU Extension’s Food $ense, who provided cooking demonstrations at our Tukwila location. [caption id="attachment_2607" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Bike blender smoothie production WSU Extension's Food $ense team and FIN staff provided a total of 28 demos of how to turn farm stand produce into delicious meals and snacks. Bike blender smoothies facilitated by Anna from Food $ense were always popular items.[/caption]   Maria, Clo, and Melody were among hundreds of community members who visited Namaste Farm Stand in Tukwila and SeaTac this season, which ran from early June until late October. We sold fruits, vegetables, and herbs from local producers including IRC New Roots’ Community Garden (Tukwila), Faith Beyond Farms (Enumclaw), and Collins Family Orchard (Selah) at affordable prices. [caption id="attachment_2609" align="aligncenter" width="500"]growers prepare food Community members who grow food at New Roots' Namaste Community Garden helped prepare our celebration dinner.[/caption]   The farm stand launched in 2017 with 10 farm stand days at Matt Griffin YMCA in SeaTac. In 2018, we added a second location at Tukwila Village Plaza and extended the number of stand days to 39. In August, we were approved to accept SNAP/EBT, and began doubling customers’ EBT dollars through the Fresh Bucks program. Namaste Farm Stand is operated by Food Innovation Network and International Rescue Committee’s New Roots program with support from the City of Tukwila, Kona Kai, Communities of Opportunity, Les Dames d’ Escoffier, Matt Griffin YMCA, SHAG, and WSU Extension. Thanks to our partners, food producers, and customers for a fantastic season! We look forward to starting our third season in June of 2019. [caption id="attachment_2608" align="aligncenter" width="500"]community dinner We had a great time eating fresh produce with our wonderful community at our celebration dinner.[/caption]

 

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