I have been intrigued with the idea of incubators and in particular food incubators for sometime. My travels around the country have let me visit ones in NY, OH and OK. It has always struck me at the incredible entrepreneurial spirit in our rural areas and leveraging the natural resources of our agricultural products has always seemed logical to me.
When researching yesterday’s blog on Thomas, OK I found an interesting food incubator in Taos, NM, one of my golden eagle Agurbs®. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association put out an excellent book “The Power of Partnering”, which highlights successful stories of rural coops partnering with other local entities to affect positive change in their communities. You can order a copy by emailing Jessie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Taos Business Incubator started in the shell of an abandoned supermarket but today occupies 24,000 sf in a modern adobe building. One of the early backers of the incubator was the Kit Carson Electric Coop which invested $40,000. Within the incubator is a 5,000 sf 24/7 commercial food center that is used by over 30 local entrepreneurs developing commercial food products. The incubator has spawned over 150 small businesses with over 500 jobs in its twenty year history.