Eat Local Sudbury pitches 'Seed to Plate Commons' to city
Project envisions expanded downtown retail space, year-round market, cafe, and rooftop greenhouse
Sudbury's local food co-operative is about to pitch city council on a bold new vision for its future, and it's asking for about $1 million to put the plan in motion.
Peggy Baillie, managing director of Eat Local Sudbury, said the plan includes a new 7000 square foot space in the downtown, with an expanded retail space, fresh meat counter, cafe and rooftop greenhouse.
Baillie imagines the "Seed to Plate Commons" as a place where friends and families come to learn about local food — how to grow, preserve and cook it.
"It's a place where you can meet your farmers at an indoor and outdoor farmer's market that runs year-round," she added.
While the total estimated price tag on the project comes in at about $4.5 million, Baillie said the economic impact of such an operation could be huge.
"A lot of people don't recognize the impact that food has on our economy," she said. "If we were to replace 10 per cent of the food that's being purchased in Sudbury with local food, that could have an impact of over $127 million that would be infused into the local economy. It's not small beans."
Eat Local's proposal joins other ideas on the drawing board to revitalize Sudbury's downtown, such as offering incentives for the building of more housing.
Some of the big dreams in the downtown master plan, including a performing arts theatre or convention centre, might come up at Thursday's council meeting as well.