During the pandemic, many persons launched food businesses as a means to provide economic stability during these times. The challenge many are now facing is the outgrowth of their kitchens and the need to expand. Currently, there are two (2) processing spaces in New Providence; Gladstone Road Food Lab & BAIC Food Lab. However, the challenges with both facilities are access to equipment, electrical issues, scheduling, and lack of machinery to bring products to market.
This has driven many to resort to entrepreneurship, many being food based companies. The rise in ghost kitchens and at home manufacturers has brought the big question of where everything is being produced. Many businesses have realized the need to grow and scale through export. Currently, there are limited avenues for local manufacturers to expand. One of the key requirements to exporting food based products is manufacturing in a FDA certified space. After production or harvest, there is a need for dry and frozen storage space. Especially in the terms of frozen storage, many frozen purveyors normally acquire multiple chest freezers and pay high electricity prices and wastage due to power outages. Bahamian cuisine is bahamian culture, this gives us an avenue to showcase this culture through tours (Cruiseship and local) and training sessions. Another component of scaling and export is food testing, there is a need for a multifaceted food & nutrition testing lab. Our customers will be small to medium-sized manufacturers, farmers, local grocers, and international distributors. There have been many small-scale programs geared towards manufacturing, but none on the scale at which we are proposing. We will partner with out-island farmers in this business model as well, our goal is to utilize the relationships we’ve built over the years to purchase from and empower these farmers ensuring they are equipped with the necessary tools and guidelines to contribute to the manufacturing ecosystem. This ultimately makes a direct contribution to food security as wastage is mitigated. To date, we have begun working with Twelve (12) farmers based in North Andros with acreages totaling 140+ acres.
Packing houses for many years have not been able to purchase all of the produce grown on the various islands. This has led to wastage of crops, the facility will provide an avenue for farmers to process and directly connect to clients who may need their goods. Post Harvest Production plays a very important role in crop production as it determines the final product’s quality. If the crops are graded to be in good condition after postharvest they can be sold as fresh consumption. On the other hand, if the crops are graded as damaged, they become the inputs for processed food products.
The technology we will utilize will be for preservation, quality control, processing, storage, and distribution of many agricultural products. These technologies will make sure that products will meet the food and nutritional needs of the consumers.
In terms of storage there are a few challenges that exist in this realm such as high electricity costs, and cost of rental space. Many manufacturers are limited to space for their finished products. After scaling up there presents an increased need for storage space. The cost of storing frozen products is typically done by purchasing chest freezers which can be expensive in the cost of electricity, space and potential wastage due to power outages. These realities have stifled the industry and small-scale manufacturers. Therefore, we aim to work with local manufacturers to increase capacity, and agitate for lower tariffs, fees, and rates; this will ensure sustainability and the ability to explore other international markets with a guaranteed consistent production.
Our main kitchen will be the most requested kitchen by many Chefs and caterers who struggle to find adequate spaces to prepare for their markets or events. Ghost kitchens that have started and outgrown their space and will need this space to process their restaurant quality food without the high cost of restaurant set up.
The manufacturing, processing and culinary industries can create jobs on multiple levels in the economy. Although many do not need direct capital most would benefit from other resources. Escalating unemployment numbers has proven that we must implement programs that help to alleviate the economic burden, and implement strategies for sustainability and growth in the agriculture and industrial sectors
Outside of business planning training , there is a local need for processing and manufacturing training , to ensure the processes are done adequately or securely. This training can give small businesses the knowledge to scale their processing business.
Many cruise ship ports offer factory tours, there is a limited number of factory tours in nassau and this facility can provide the option of viewing tours along with cooking tours.
With a limited amount of locations where you can access 100% bahamian made products in the downtown area. This facility can serve as a retail outlet for 100% locally made products made from the manufactured and processed items in house.