Thursday, July 4, 2013

Extended Openings: Fundraising push on for prep space at BayOne

Published in the Portland Phoenix

After a winter and spring of increasing activity at BayOne, the Anderson Street home to the expanded Bomb Diggity Bakery and some small-scale food-production businesses, it's time for another growth phase. (See "Building a Hub for Food," by Jeff Inglis, January 11.)

Eli Cayer, who runs BayOne and its neighbor and relative, Urban Farm Fermentory, has launched a $16,000 Indiegogo campaign to pay for a couple of community-focused aspects of the project.

First, Cayer wants to raise $5000 to pay for sinks and stainless-steel tables for a set of three prep-kitchen booths, which will be available for people to rent as licensed food-prep spaces under city and state regulations. (For food carts and trucks, and other small-scale producers, home prep is no longer allowed, and a licensee needs to specify a location where prep will occur.)

"Portland is lacking a facility where startups and nano producers can legally make and package their artisanal products," Cayer writes in his Indiegogo project description.

The plumbing is in place; what's needed is money for the sinks and tables, as well as industrial track curtains that will separate the spaces as needed, but can also retract to make the area a larger space for community classes, film screenings, and other gatherings.

Cayer says he has several small startups interested in the space, as well as people wanting to start teaching classes once the space is finished.

The rewards for contributing to the Indiegogo campaign are focused on exactly those people: a $15 pledge gets a person an hour of prep time in the kitchen, and $20 the opportunity to sell wares at a booth at a market also to be held regularly in the space. For community members, a $25 pledge earns entry to a basic-skills class, or a $25 discount off an advanced-level class.

Indiegogo allows organizations to collect the money they raise, even if their campaign doesn't hit the target amount (unlike Kickstarter, which only dispenses money if a goal is achieved), and Cayer is hoping to get far more than $5000.

An additional $10,000 will pay for the setup of a greenhouse that will not only be home to herbs used by UFF and other BayOne tenants, but also to an aquaponics area that could grow in contained systems salad greens and fish for sale at the market sessions. It will be an additional site for classes and workshops, too.

Those classes and other happenings depend on another key aspect of the project, a zoning ordinance amendment that will come before the City Council at its July 15 meeting.

"We're not trying to change the ordinance. We're just trying to tweak it a little bit," Cayer says. The amendment would allow special events like "maker's markets," where people could sell art, crafts, and food — including prepared foods, which are frowned upon at the regular Portland farmers' markets — as well as lectures, musical performances, and the like.

Head to the council meeting — July 15 @ 7 pm in City Hall — and donate at until August 20.