New Food & Farm Hub Coming to Rainier Beach

New Food & Farm Hub Coming to Rainier Beach

This month, yet another innovative idea will take shape in Rainier Beach.

The Rainier Community Food and Farm Hub — a team of local organizations dedicated to creating a more sustainable food system and an equitable green economy — will launch on in a 5,600-square foot warehouse at 5131 S. Director St.

Team members include Seattle Farm Co-op, Seattle Tilth Produce and Juicebox, as well as Community Kitchens NW, Rainier Beach Learning Garden and Somali Senior Dinners at the Farm. The Rainier Beach Action Coalition will share office space.

“This new approach to economic development takes into account the existing assets such as the Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands, unparalleled global restaurant scene, and current built and programmatic infrastructure that positions Rainier Beach to implement successful  pathways to education and jobs creation in the food industry,” said Food and Farm Hub co-chair and Rainier Beach Action Coalition founder Gregory Davis.

South East Effective Development (SEED) initiated the concept, brought the businesses together and signed a master lease on the building. SEED sub-leases to each tenant and provides expert facility management.

“SEED is delighted to spearhead this new Food and Farm Hub,” said SEED Executive Director Lance Matteson. “For 40 years, SEED has led efforts to improve the quality of life in our region. The creative synergy of these enterprises will enhance local food-related business opportunities, as well as the nutritional and overall well-being of our diverse communities. We are excited about the food tech and manufacturing opportunities this project will generate, on and off-site.”

Seattle Farm Co-op will offer gardeners, urban farmers and co-op members access to animal feed, tools, supplies, workshops and a supportive community for backyard food production in Southeast Seattle and beyond.

Seattle Tilth Produce will use the space as a local food packing and distribution center. They receive fresh, organic produce and food from local farmers and then distribute it to the community through weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes, subsidized Good Food Bags and local restaurants. The Seattle Tilth Produce farm stand will be open to the public on Saturdays, from 10 am to 3 pm with fresh produce grown by local farmers and for CSA members to pick up pre-ordered boxes.

Juicebox began in 2012 and specializes in cold-pressed organic juice and vegetable-focused cuisine. They will bottle juices at the hub, which will then be available at their Juice Bar and Café on Capitol Hill and online.

The grand opening celebration is planned for Thurs., Sept. 17, at 11 am at 5131 S. Director St.

Photo/Diana Vergis Vinh