FAQ

Taproot is open.

How will this project benefit Lopezians who are not food producers?

  • Job creation: Families benefit from small businesses ownership.
  • Food security: Local food processing reduces our reliance of the global network of food production and transport.
  • Self sustaining community: Enables families to feed themselves by efficiently and safely preserving food.
  • Increases the abundance and diversity of interesting local foods.
  • Provides incentive for more local food production.
  • Streamlines governmental regulation and monitoring of food production reducing bureaucratic waste.
  • Reduces carbon footprint of nutrition by eliminating food transport from far away places.
  • Grows community as people work together to grow and process food.

All Lopezians are users of the Lopez food ecosystem. Taproot aims to foster a stronger food network on Lopez, where individuals with a passion have the means (a certified kitchen space) to pursue that passion, thereby contributing to a more vital and thriving community.  Such a space can enable local entrepreneurship and community education, benefiting all who care about Lopez being a diverse place where people can afford to support themselves through their own work.  Taproot aims to educate and inspire the younger generation of the island about food production.  Children of Lopez have a great education in what it is grow food.  Members of Taproot dream to continue that education, teaching kids the process of production and giving them the tools to someday make their own products and support themselves in our local economy.

Will Taproot be a sustainable business after it starts up?

Yes, Taproot user fees will cover on-going operational expenses.

Our plan is to operate Taproot as a non-profit using cooperative principles.  Use fees will be set at a balance between lowest-possible and sufficient-to-cover-costs, with any excess at the end of each operational year being returned to the member-users in proportion with their use percentage.  Our modeling of Taproot utilization indicates that with about 10 diverse users, competitive and reasonable hourly use fees, and conservative assumptions of total hours used, Taproot will be able to cover operational costs across a full use year within the first one to two years of operations.

What kinds of kitchen use will Taproot be outfitted for?

  • Processing value added products
  • Family food preservation
  • Food prep capability for caterers and Farmers Market vendors as soon as upgrade is complete.
  • Bottling, labeling, storage and office space (including computer and wifi)

How much will it cost to use the kitchen?

We are currently planning to share the monthly cost of operation among users rather than a per hour price. More people = lower cost per user.

How can I sign up to use it?

If you are interested in receiving information about membership, please send a message to info@lopeztaproot.org with “Membership” noted in the message subject line, and your contact info will get added to our list of potential active users (members).

Who do I contact to discuss my idea for a food product?

Many of us involved in Taproot, including any of the Board members, have experience in one or more aspects of developing food products, and would be happy to act as a sounding board for your ideas. Feel free to send your questions about food product ideas to info@lopeztaproot.org, or contact any one of us directly.

How can I help Taproot succeed?

Any donation of time or money would be greatly appreciated…good news, we now are formally a 501(c)3, so your donations are tax-deductible.

As with any worthwhile community project, it’s going to take a village (or an island) to get Taproot off the ground.  We have an amazing group of people working on Taproot, but we need extra hands and minds to join in our effort. We are currently looking for support in the following areas: fundraising, outreach, social media management and general help with the effort.  We could also use someone to work with us to help formalize our business plan.  If you are interested in helping out, send an email to info@lopeztaproot.org or join us at one of our weekly meetings Mondays 2:00 PM at Vortex.  We have free coffee.

I’d like to make a donation.  How do I do that?

First of all…THANK YOU!!!  Those of us working to pull together Taproot truly appreciate your expression of support.  Donations can be made any of several ways:

  • Here on the website: How You Can Help
  • At Islanders Bank: deposit your donation into the Taproot account
  • Drop off a check made out to ‘Taproot A Lopez Kitchen’ at Vortex in Lopez Village
  • Give any one of the Board members (Randall Waugh, Jean Perry, Lissa Pfandler) a check made out to “Taproot A Lopez Kitchen”

Taproot is a 501©3, so your donations are tax-deductible. Our IRS tax ID is 81-1346888

Who owns the business?

Its members!  The intent is to operate Taproot using cooperative principles.  There is no “business” to be owned.  Taproot is a WA non-profit corporation under Chapter 24.03 RCW.  Its founding Board of Directors are Jean Perry, Randall Waugh and Lissa Pfandler.

How can I get more information about your business plan?

As with all business plans, there is an element of confidentiality about its contents.  However, interested individuals can talk with Taproot Board Members, peruse the logistics page of our website, or send us an email for more information.

Do I need my own business license, food service permits, and insurance?

Yes, both your own business license and your own product liability insurance will be required.  Taproot will be a certified commercial SPACE in which you can do your food or agricultural items production, not a BUSINESS under which your production can be umbrella-ed. Talk to us about your plans and we’ll try to steer you in the right direction.

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