Flagship Food Group in Albuquerque
The California-based Flagship Food Group is an international firm that makes processed foods such as salsa, burritos and tamales, which it sells to national retailers under several names. The company’s new U.S. manufacturing and distribution headquarters is in a former Albuquerque Tortilla Company site, a 78,400-sq.-ft., industrial food-processing facility in Albuquerque’s Renaissance corridor. On Oct. 7, CEO Rob Holland announced that Flagship would hire 125 people immediately and 300 in the next five years. The company expects annual sales to go from about $40 million to $100 million.
¡Sostenga! Commercial Kitchen to Reopen through Partnership
The ¡Sostenga! Commercial Kitchen on Northern New Mexico College’s Española campus, closed in 2012 due to limited financial resources, will once again serve the community, thanks to a partnership between the college, Río Arriba County and the Río Grande Development Corporation’s Siete del Norte.
The goal of the commercial kitchen is to act as a business incubator, supporting the creation of new food businesses across northern New Mexico. It is designed to support regional farmers and ranchers interested in creating their own businesses by providing a facility to get them started. The kitchen will be FDA-licensed and outfitted with commercial-grade cooking and filling equipment. Clients will also have access to training and mentorship through the project and its partners.
“We are excited to be working with Northern as a trusted community leader and advocate that embraces cultural sustainability and quality student learning,” Siete del Norte President Todd López said. “We are hopeful that our partnership will create opportunities for Northern students and emerging entrepreneurs in the community.”
“The support of this partnership gives new life to the possibility of sustaining the commercial kitchen in a way the college was unable to do on its own,” Northern President Nancy Barcelo said. Other partners include Delicious New Mexico and Los de Mora Local Growers’ Cooperative.
Food Manufacturing Entrepreneurship Project in SW New Mexico
In July, USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner presented Río Grande Community Development Corporation a certificate of obligation to begin the funding for the establishment of a food-manufacturing entrepreneurship project in southwest New Mexico. Brunner said, “This project offers an exciting opportunity to build a food network of locally grown products, which will provide our families and children with a healthier food supply. In the long run, this project will also create new income opportunities and help stimulate the economy in our rural communities.”
The $152,492 grant provided by the Rural Community Development Initiative program will be used to develop incubator kitchens, food-processing training, the development of distribution networks and regional marketing planning for small food-manufacturing businesses in Catron, Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties.
The presentation was made in conjunction with the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service summer food-demonstration project in Anthony, New Mexico. The demonstration was held to show the public the various programs offered by the agencies within the USDA and how they are being utilized in high poverty areas targeted by USDA’s StrikeForce Initiative.
Farm-to-Table Vending Machine
Embudo, New Mexico-based Comida de Campos, a family farm operation, has launched its Farm-to-Table vending machine. It is only the second company in the nation to place farm fresh food in refrigerated vending machines. Its salads, fruit cups and other locally produced foods are now in the Manuel Luján Building in Santa Fe and will soon be in Holy Cross Hospital in Taos. The products are monitored on a daily basis via the Internet and re-stocked at least twice a week. the company has been invited to place the machines in other state and city buildings and id setting up an Indiegogo crowdfunding account to try to raise the money to begin placing the machines in schools.
The Campos family has sold at local farmers’ markets and to restaurants for years. It also hosts folks from around the world at its cooking school. 505.852.0017, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.comidadecampos.com