Years in the making, Harvest Kitchen Cafe & Corner Store is the culmination of Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s mission to provide the state with local, delicious and nutritious food and produce. The small cafe and grocery, which opened in July, is a product of the Harvest Kitchen program, which helps at-risk youths develop professional skills and learn about the food industry from growth and production to sale. It is located on the corner of Main and Bayley streets in downtown Pawtucket, where Harvest Kitchen kids are trained and cook in a commercial kitchen.
The cafe features fresh produce from local farms, staple groceries and grab-n-go meals. It will also sell a full line of Harvest Kitchen foods, like their handmade applesauce and soups. Since one of the goals of Farm Fresh RI is to make fresh food more accessible, the store will also accept EBT/SNAP and distribute some of their prepared foods to local corner stores.
Through programs like Harvest Kitchen, Farm Fresh RI has developed close relationships with local farmers and producers that it pledges to always support. “We help farmers and producers thrive by creating marketplaces for them, but also helping them reach those marketplaces – as well as increasing demand,” says Farm Fresh RI communications director Rebecca Seggel, in reference to the work the organization has done to help local producers sell to the public. “So the Harvest Kitchen Cafe & Corner Store is going to be a great medium of all these things.”