Phase one of Taproot Kitchen Build-out complete. The kitchen is open.

  • Fri Dec 13th, 2019 1:55pm
  • Life

Submitted by Taproot Board

Taproot Kitchen on Dill Road re-opened for business thanks to many volunteers and contributors. Over the year, significant infrastructure upgrades added a whole new level of opportunity for local entrepreneurs, strengthening Taproot’s capacity as a WSDA licensed food processing facility (think food on the grocery store shelf) and processing for home use. The improvements allow Taproot to be used by vendors who need San Juan County Health Department permits (think Farmers Market food vendors).

The kitchen is ready to bring your creative culinary skills to life. Equipment available for use include:

Robot Coupe MP550 Turbo 21” Immersion Blender: This powerful tool creates sauces makes quick work of blending produce.

Robot Coupe CL50 Ultra Continuous Feed Food Processor slices and dices at an industrial scale.

OMCAN 6-gallon tilting blender to make batches of sauce and dressings.

An industrial fruit corer/wedger to prepares apples and pears for saucing and dehydrating. This device removes the cores and slices fruit into wedges much more efficiently than can be done by hand.

A 20 rack commercial food dehydrator with adjustable temperature and 3-speed fans; dries up to 100 pounds of fruit a day.

Induction burners for cooking up your dreams.

Commercial refrigerator and freezer to keep your product fresh and at the correct temperature for food safety standards.

Full equipment list and facility use pricing is here: https://lopeztaproot.org/the-kitchen/ If you wish to use the kitchen, develop a business which uses the kitchen, or want to get in touch for any reason, contact us at: info@lopeztaproot.org.

Taproot Kitchen has truly been a community effort from the beginning. Many people and organizations have contributed to the important task of creating local food processing infrastructure.

Now Taproot is well-positioned to deliver on its mission, which includes helping island residents start their own food-related businesses increasing economic opportunity and support for local farmers.

Two grants, one from the Orcas Co-op FARM Fund and the other from the Lopez Thrift Store, along with a very generous donation of two large pieces of equipment from a local farmer, have outfitted Taproot for fruit processing. The kitchen is working with the combined forces of the Lopez Island Family Resource Center sponsored Glean Team and the Lopez Locavores to harvest and process Lopez fruit for local consumption. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, and sauces are being distributed to Lopez Fresh Food Bank at LIFRC, the Senior Center, Meals on Wheels, and other local organizations.

We continue to look towards the future and taking on a new phase to improve Taproot’s capacity, including the installation of a large commercial walk-in refrigerator, partially funded by a United States Department of Agriculture grant, to significantly expand refrigerated storage capacity.

Donations for the next stages of infrastructure development and equipment purchase are welcomed. Donate online at https://lopeztaproot.org/support/ or send a check to Taproot, A Lopez Kitchen, P.O. Box 551, Lopez Island, WA, 98261.

The Taproot Board – Jean Perry, Lissa Pfandler, Randall Waugh – invite anyone interested in joining the Board or contributing their skills to this community-minded project to contact us at: info@lopeztaproot.org