It’s been a year since the Second Mile Marketplace and Food Hub opened its doors on Highway 99 in Salmon Creek. With its mission of rebuilding an infrastructure in Clark County between Mile One, the grower/food producer, and Mile Three, the consumer, the plan is to ultimately provide solutions, resources and business incubator services for farms, food businesses and food security organizations, in particular, small-scale producers. The vision is agriculture as a viable and respectable economic cornerstone and expression of life in Clark County and Southwest Washington.
Since opening, the Second Mile Marketplace has become a busy, fully permitted and licensed commercial kitchen, used by local chefs, bakers, caterers and food producers. The retail space is in use and available for gatherings, meetings, classes and local organizations. The organizers have always envisioned a centralized place for the year-round aggregation, distribution, marketing, processing and sale of locally produced food goods, largely from Southwest Washington farms, ranches, dairies and food artisans. The Second Mile Food Hub will be a space where employees, suppliers and community members can express, explore and elevate the agricultural abundance that enhances the livability in our region.
As part of that plan, the Second Mile Food Hub opens its “virtual doors” in May by offering a multi-farm and small-food producer purchase-and-delivery system. The Second Mile Food Hub will offer a robust web-based process for customers to order multiple products from multiple farms and food producers in Clark County. To ease the burden on small-scale farms, Second Mile arranges for aggregation of these products at its site, preparation of packaging and distribution to customers.
The Second Mile Food Hub expects to join its sister operation, the Second Mile Marketplace, in being fully operational by mid-summer, with both the commercial kitchen facilities, storage, freezer and refrigeration, shelving available 24/7, as well as a well-oiled food hub, delivering farm products to customers weekly.
The organizers of the Second Mile Food Hub expect a measurable economic and social impact in the community as seen with more dollars circulating within the region, job creation across a spectrum of sectors and a happier, healthier population fed by fresh, flavorful local products.
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Ann Foster is organizer of the Salmon Creek Farmers Market, a member of the Clark County Food System Council and is on the board of the Friends of Clark County. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.