The Can-Do Kitchen

Fair Food Matters’ Can-Do Kitchen and The Starting Block Celebrate Incubator Graduate

KALAMAZOO, MI & HART, MI – APRIL 4, 2013 – Fair Food Matters’ Can-Do Kitchen and The Starting
Block, Michigan’s first two food business incubators, together are celebrating the graduation of food
business, TCB Food Processing LLC.

TCB Food Processing now produces asparagus guacamole (hot and mild) and asparagus salsa in their
own facility in Lawrence, Michigan. The new facility will allow them to increase production by 50%. The
shelf-stable canned dips were an immediate success up and down West Michigan’s shoreline and can
be found at select Kroger and Meijer stores. TCB’s asparagus salsa and guacamole will also be available
at farmers’ market stands statewide this summer. In addition, TCB does private label co-packing for six
other companies and will soon add two new products to their product line.

Asparagus guacamole and salsa are a healthy snack and a perfect addition to your party, picnic,
gathering or get-together. The dips pair nicely with chips, crackers, eggs, burritos, and a nice cold
Michigan beer or soda. Michigan-grown asparagus is used whenever possible, making TCB’s dips a
win-win for Michigan’s economy. The recipes were developed by the Michigan Asparagus Growers
Association.

In July 2012, TCB Food Processing got started in the Can-Do Kitchen and The Starting Block, making jar
after jar of asparagus salsa and asparagus guacamole. The two commercial kitchen incubators allowed
TCB to test and license their product with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and FDA, produce
large amounts of product in preparation for supplying Michigan markets, and work on building their
own production facility. The Can-Do Kitchen also supported TCB Food Processing by introducing them to
Kalamazoo’s local foods community.

About the Can-Do Kitchen and Fair Food Matters:
Since 2008, the Can-Do Kitchen, a program of Fair Food Matters, has been incubating small food businesses and increasing the availability of foods made locally with local ingredients. It creates a low-risk environment in which start-ups can test products and their commitment to business ownership. The program connects business owners to business counseling, graphic designers, markets, and more, and supports them every step of the way. The facility is licensed with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and registered as an Acidified and Low-Acid Canned Foods facility with the FDA. In addition to TCB Food Processing, their graduates of the program are Kurry Guru and The Cheese Lady. The Can-Do Kitchen also has a social mission to create access to business incubation to those unable to afford it, to and revitalize an interest in food preparation and to strengthen the local food movement. By providing affordable cooking class space, hundreds of people have gained hands-on cooking, canning, and baking skills. This summer, the Can-Do Kitchen will offer scholarships to low- and moderate-income food entrepreneurs. The scholarships will provide $8,000 each to seven start-ups entering the Can-Do Kitchen. The non-profit organization, Fair Food Matters, works to improve the physical, economic and social health of the communities it serves through local food.

Fair Food Matters, 323 North Burdick Street, Kalamazoo MI 49007. (269) 492-1270,
www.fairfoodmatters.org

About The Starting Block:
Opened in 2006, The Starting Block is West Michigan’s Non-Profit Regional Kitchen Incubator, USDA-Certified Meat Processing and Meat Production Facility, and Entrepreneurial Center. The Starting Block’s brand new USDA-certified facility for start-up and small meat producers ensures FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service) standards and is located in a separate building adjacent to our current Starting Block building with separate rooms for meat production and packaging. The Starting Block’s mission is to incubate and support the entrepreneurial spirit, in the food systems and natural resources sector, by providing licensed commercial kitchen facilities, entrepreneurial education and peer-to-peer networking to new and expanding businesses in the multi-county, West Central Michigan region.

The Starting Block is located at 1535 Industrial Park Drive, Hart, MI 231-873-1432, www.startingblock.biz
MBIA Template 1 - April 2013

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