One of the largest problems local food enthusiasts are faced with in Kingston is the need for value added foods.
Raw goods, like the fruits and veggies we can so easily pick up from the Farmer’s Market make up the backbone of local eating.
But sometimes we don’t have time to gather tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, red peppers, basil, pasta, and mozzarella cheese to assemble our own lasagna. Sometimes we want to pick up a lasagna that only requires a quick re-heating.
It’s been impossible to find a lasagna in Kingston assembled from local ingredients ready and waiting for us to take it home, but too easy to head over to the grocery store and pick one up from the freezer aisle.
Local food producers have known for a while that there is a gap in the market for this style of product in Kingston. The problem is that in order to take their veggies and make a lasagna ready for our ovens the process has to be done in a licenced kitchen.
Licenced kitchens have very specific sets of rules and regulations as dictated by the health board, and they are routinely inspected. They work great in insuring the safety of our food, not so great for local food production, until now.
Andrew McCann, a local food warrior, began the Village Co-Op in August of 2011. He started a small Bread CSA that offered whole grain, organic bread and baked goods from rented space in the Portsmouth Hardware Store.