Culinary Entrepreneurship & Workforce Initiative Reaches Funding Milestone

June 30, 2024

The Store One hub in Anaheim, designed to foster culinary entrepreneurship and workforce training, has reached a significant funding milestone. The project has secured $7.75 million in public funding for construction and $3 million from private donations to support equipment and operational expenses. Located at the former site of the first Northgate González Market on Anaheim Boulevard, construction is set to begin this fall.

A new campaign has been launched to raise an additional $5 million for furniture, equipment, and multiyear programming and operations. The facility is expected to open in late 2025.

Mayor Ashleigh Aitken highlighted the project's significance, stating that Store One aims to preserve Anaheim’s heritage while investing in the future of young people. Council Member Natalie Rubalcava emphasized the historical importance of Downtown Anaheim and how Store One will provide a cooperative space for young talent to thrive.

Store One, a public-private partnership spearheaded by the city of Anaheim and supported by the Anaheim Community Foundation, aims to boost food business startups and build the culinary workforce in Orange County. The hub will serve hundreds of adults and youth through business incubation, workforce training, upskilling, and related community services, with plans to graduate 120 culinary trainees and support 20 food-related startups annually.

The 12,000-square-foot facility will include a teaching kitchen, a batch production kitchen, a showcase kitchen and flex space for events, and a community garden. Food entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to sell their creations from two rotating pop-up storefronts.

Funding sources include the federal Economic Development Administration, a federal Community Development Block Grant, the City of Anaheim, Anaheim Public Utilities, and forthcoming federal and state appropriations. Philanthropic contributions have come from the Samueli Foundation, the Sun Family Foundation, and other private donors.

Joanna Kong, executive director at the Sun Family Foundation, expressed pride in supporting the initiative, noting its potential to improve the local culinary workforce and uplift communities through increased economic opportunity.

The city of Anaheim purchased the vacant Store One property in 2019 for $4.75 million. In response to the economic disruption caused by the pandemic, Store One was created to boost the community’s small business sector and enhance culinary job opportunities, especially for youth. The project is seeking partnerships with nonprofit and educational groups to provide day-to-day services and programming.

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Greer's OC
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Since 1993, Greer has been writing about fashion, dining and trends in Orange County, as a popular columnist for the Los Angeles Time Community Newspapers (Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot and HB Independent) and now as founder of Greer’s OC.

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