Economic Development

Growing Hope contributes to a vibrant community by providing access to an equitable, sustainable, food secure economy.

Growing Hope envisions a community with a strong economy that offers room for food entrepreneurs and businesses to grow and develop, making both the community and the people in it healthier. Growing Hope works to create an environment conducive to fostering and supporting local food businesses through our work in policy advocacy, our kitchen incubator, and job and internship training programs. Besides providing a forum for local small businesses at our Farmers Markets, we also aim to provide the community with the knowledge and skills to grow their food businesses. Our Building Blocks For the Food Entrepreneur workshops educate new food and existing food businesses on best practices needed to grow their businesses.

Building Blocks for Local Food Entrepreneurs 2018

Building Blocks for the Food Entrepreneur is a series of free workshops put on by Growing Hope, with partnership from the MSU Extension Service, the Michigan Small Business Development Center, SCORE – Washtenaw County, the Entrepreneurship Center at WCC, and SPARK East Incubator.

From Start to Selling 101
Thursday, August 23, 2018
6:30-8:30pm at the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace, 16 S. Washington St. Ypsilanti
Free! Please Register HERE 
In this training, you’ll hear from Gretchen Kopmanis who started the Czechbox Bakery in 2012 and now sells at the Ypsilanti Farmers Markets. Based on lessons she’s learned, she’ll guide you through the planning stages for starting a successful business. Topics include product development, establishing your brand, pricing strategies, record keeping, marketing, packaging, taxes, and setting up as a Farmers Market vendor.

Stay tuned for the 2018 Fall Schedule! 

List of Shared Kitchen Spaces

Growing Hope supports food businesses and food entrepreneurs find the start-up resources they need. If you’re looking for a commercial or shared kitchen space check out this list of Shared Kitchen Spaces


September 30, 2018
  • Chefs in the Garden 2/3
    September 30, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

October 14, 2018
  • Chefs in the Garden 3/3
    October 14, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

October 18, 2018
  • Building Blocks: From Cottage to Commercial
    October 18, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace, 16 S Washington St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, USA

November 5, 2018
  • International Volunteer Managers Day
    November 5, 2018

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