Swan River, Man. – Budding food entrepreneurs in northern Manitoba communities now have a food processing centre closer to home.
Manitoba’s ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives opened the food-processing centre last week as part of a one-year pilot project.
The project will allow entrepreneurs in the northern part of the province to test and develop food products for commercial markets.
The province says new and experienced entrepreneurs can rent space in the centre, and adds that the kitchen meets the standards required by public health inspectors for a commercial kitchen.
The Manitoba government will provide permits for food processors using the facility to manufacture their food products. Provincial staff based in the community will offer marketing and business support to clients and the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie can also offer fee-for-service consultation.
Small- and large-scale testing
Beyond small-scale product testing, the new food-processing centre can also accommodate the production of larger quantities of new products to meet the demands of test marketing. Commercial‑size mixers, kettles, a walk-in cooler and freezer, and a sheeter for rolling dough and pasta products are all part of the new centre.
The province adds that the new facility will bring economic benefits beyond food production. The centre will earn revenues from clients who rent the food-production space and other organizations that rent the centre for local functions such as feeding the 1,800 athletes who will be in Swan River this year for the Manitoba Summer Games.