We’re so excited to share that Hoʻōla Farms was awarded a USDA grant to support Veteran farmers and producers on Hawai’i Island in developing agribusiness!
The Hilo Food Hub currently serves over 25 farmers and small business owners who utilize the commercial kitchen to make a wide range of products, from cured meats to wontons to baked goods. There are also several small businesses that rent office space at the Hilo Food Hub, including Compost Hawai’i, Big Island Box, and Volcano Precious Plastics.
We also have several new businesses currently in the onboarding process. This involves navigating the legal and regulatory requirements for starting or expanding their own agriculture businesses and applying for proper permitting with the Department of Health. Sometimes it feels like a circus, but you don’t have to jump through all the hoops alone!
This acquisition will help us increase the number of veterans and community members pursuing education and entrepreneurship in the food and agriculture sector on Hawaiʻi Island. Our long-term goal is to decrease our reliance on imported foods and increase our local economy and community resilience. We’re excited and grateful to have this opportunity with the help of our partners at Not Yet Foundation.
“This is such a great opportunity for Hilo Food Hub to increase innovation and development in the local food system. We are evolving from just a commercial kitchen for rent to an entire agribusiness incubator, where farmers and community members are given the tools, resources and training opportunities to help their agriculture business thrive,” said Anthony Florig, program manager at Hoʻōla Farms and owner of Big Island Box.
Lilipops Hawai’i has installed their blast freezer at Hilo Food Hub to increase production of their local kine popsicles made with fresh fruit, lava rock filtered water, and pure organic cane sugar. Originally created as a healthier alternative to traditional fund-raiser options for schools and local organizations, every pop sold contributes to their mission of giving back to the children and our community. Check em’ out!
If are looking to start a food business or take your food business to the next level, we provide everything you need to do that. Once someone becomes a Member of Hilo Food Hub, they get access to our certified commercial kitchen, cold storage, all of our kitchen equipment. Also, if one of our members needs help with graphic design, packaging, labeling, distribution, or health code permits, our team can help with all of those things, too.