A Local Non-Profit Organization Says Popsicles Can Impact the Economy...
What do popsicles have to do with the local economy? According to a non-profit organization called Blue Oven Kitchens, quite a lot!
The organization helps grow the economy by helping new food-based businesses get started. And they've already helped turn one man's "cool" idea into a broiling hot business.
It's called "The Pop Stop."
Owner, Taylor Daugherty said, "We do handmade, natural popsicles...we have a pushcart and a go-ped."
The Pop Stop makes uniquely flavored popsicles and takes them all around Gainesville on hot days, especially game days. Daugherty said the business wouldn't be possible without Blue Oven Kitchens.
Daugherty said, "If we hadn't been able to hook up with them, our start up costs would've been 3, 4, 5 times as much."
Blue Oven Kitchens helps cut down expenses by connecting entrepreneurs with already established regulated commercial cooking facilities to rent. They also provide guidance until the business is self-sufficient.
The Pop Stop is still in development, but Daugherty said that the response has been great. In fact, he's sold out every time he's taken the carts to the streets.
Co-founder of Blue Oven Kitchens and restaurant owner, Maya Garner, encourages others to bring their ideas to the table too.
Garner said, "Anyone can come and do it....it's about having the dream and the desire and the drive and then the rest- you leave it to us."
Blue Oven Kitchens is working on expanding to help more local food businesses, because they believe they're essential to keeping Alachua County's economy healthy.
Garner said, "Blue Oven Kitchens will act as an additional anchor in the local food economy not only by encouraging people to use locally produced foods from area and regional farms, which we have an abundance of...but it will also boost our local economy by keeping money in it."
For an application fee of $50, you can take part in their business incubation program. Also, Blue Oven Kitchens holds bi-weekly workshops to help start-up businesses create marketing strategies, obtain licensing and more.
For more information go to blueovenkitchens.org.
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