Local Sprouts dig in

Venue watch + more
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  July 29, 2009

For two years, the Local Sprouts Cooperative has been creating a name for itself as a sustainable and healthy catering and meal cooperative in Portland. Hanifa Washington, a worker-owner and chef, likens it to "Superman in slo-mo," saying that the organization has experienced a "steady advance" since its inception in 2007. In addition to catering events for approximately 50 like-minded groups, Local Sprouts has attracted about 60 co-op members who benefit from the group's community-supported kitchen, paying a fee in return for a certain amount of freshly prepared foods every week.

Now, the eight worker-owners are about to take a giant leap, as they attempt to launch a Community Supported Café in town, possibly in the former Portland Hall. (The owners are currently in negotiations with Bayside Maine LLC, the development company co-owned by activist and state senator Justin Alfond, which bought the building at 645 Congress Street and plans to build apartments above the ground-floor retail space the Sprouts hope to occupy.)

To celebrate their achievements so far, Local Sprouts will host Taking Root, a fundraising event at SPACE Gallery on August 8. They'll serve a giant meal (roasted-veggie and greens salad, fresh bread, haddock or marinated tempeh with caramelized onions and more seasonal vegetables, plus chocolate beet cake and blueberry cheesecake bars), bands will play (including Over a Cardboard Sea, The Orchards, Lady Zen, and the Excuse Me Circus), and representatives will be on hand to talk about what Local Sprouts founder Jonah Fertig calls a "very unconventional" café idea.

In addition to carrying over the Local Sprouts community-supported kitchen model, the café will be financed (Fertig hopes) through community-based loans and investments. Members will be able to pick up meals, but the café will also be open for the public to order off a menu; Washington and Fertig describe a space that's available for educational programs and possibly even winter farmers' markets and co-op retail. Could this be the community space that Portland's social-activists have been clamoring for? Stay tuned.

TAKING ROOT | August 8 @ 6:30 pm for dinner, 8 pm for show | $15 dinner + show; $10 dinner only; $8 show only | at SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St, Portland | 207.615.9970 | localsproutscooperative.com 

  Topics: This Just In , Culture and Lifestyle, Food and Cooking, Foods,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY DEIRDRE FULTON
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   FERTILE GROUND  |  April 17, 2014
    Maine’s medical marijuana activists celebrated several victories over the last couple of legislative sessions, and they’re (mostly) looking forward to local and statewide legalization campaigns coming over the next two years.
  •   IT'S NOT ALL PEACE AND LOVE IN MARIJUANA VALLEY  |  April 16, 2014
    It’s like a version of the truth that’s fun to read — but difficult to categorize.
  •   INSPIRED BY THE LEGENDS  |  April 03, 2014
    Acclaimed local singer celebrates Judy Garland
  •   A SUNNIER OUTLOOK  |  April 03, 2014
    The Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project released its annual State of the News Media report last week.
  •   ENTER THE WORLD OF FELIX YZ  |  March 20, 2014
    The brainchild of local author and WMPG program director Lisa Bunker, Felix is the 15-year-old protagonist of a new interactive online serial, The ZeroDay Countdown of Felix Yz.

 See all articles by: DEIRDRE FULTON