Pictured left to right while cutting the ribbon are Kathy Keith, LANL’s community programs office director, County Commissioner Barney Trujillo, Governor Susana Martinez, Mayor Alice Lucero, Siete Del Norte Director Todd Lopez and Kitchen manager Steve Vigil. Valley Daily Post image
Ribbon cutting ceremony for the Food Venture Center
By STEVEN E, LOVATO
Gov. Susana Martinez was on a hand Tuesday afternoon for a very special ribbon cutting ceremony. The occasion was a celebratory opening for the newly established Food Venture Center at the Northern New Mexico Food Hub, located right here in the Española Valley. This collaborative effort is a partnership between the City of Española, Rio Arriba County, Northern New Mexico College, and the non-profit organization Siete del Norte. Gov. Martinez was the highlighted guest speaker, who spoke on the positive impact of agriculture to the local community and the importance of small businesses as an integral component to our local and state economy. The Mayor of Española, Alice Lucero as well as RAC Commissioner Barney Trujillo, NNMC Vice President of Finance Domingo Sanchez and Todd Lopez , President of Siete del Norte were also on hand for the occasion and each took time to address the crowd and thank the many people involved.
The Governor touring the kitchen. Valley Daily Post image
Siete del Norte actively works under federal grants in order to establish and maintain the Northern New Mexico Food Hub as a centralized aggregating, processing and distribution center for local produce in the Española Valley. The core mission for this project is to unite governmental agencies, for-profit businesses and nonprofit enterprises in a regional collaboration designed to provide low-income families with the tools and resources to support, encourage and capitalize on regional small farming entrepreneurial activities.
$830,000 in State funding to help restart a commercial kitchen and build a food hub in the Española Valley was also secured over the past two years with local legislators including Sen. Richard Martinez, Rep. Nick Salazar, Rep. Debbie Rodella, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, and Rep. Carl Trujillo all contributing.
The industrial kitchen located on the JCI building within the NNMC campus, is now the home of the Food Hub. Bringing a much needed and welcomed resource for the local agricultural community here in the valley. Hopefully in the near future, this helps propel new small businesses and endeavors throughout the region.