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.
- Reduces carbon footprint of nutrition by eliminating food transport from far away places.
- Grows community as people work together to grow and process food.
Many Lopezians are users of the Lopez Island food ecosystem. Taproot aims to foster a stronger food network on Lopez, where individuals with a passion have the means (a certified kitchen space and licensed food processing facility) to pursue that passion, thereby contributing to a more vital and thriving community. This space enables 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. Our business plan for Taproot utilization indicates that with 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 operation.
What kinds of kitchen use will Taproot be outfitted for?
- Processing value added products, especially for retail sale of WSDA licensed products. (Sauces, dressings, pickles, dehydrated food, etc.)
- Family food preservation
- Food prep capability for caterers and Farmers Market vendors.
- Bottling, labeling, storage and office space (including computer and wifi)
How can I sign up to use it?
If you are interested in receiving information about membership, please send a message to email@example.com with something like “I want to use the kitchen” in the message subject line. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Who do I contact to discuss my idea for a food product?
Send your questions about food product ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask Jean at the Vortex Café (not when the café is busy) or ask Randall if you see him around.
Many of us involved in Taproot, including the Board members, have experience in one or more aspects of developing food products. We would be happy to act as a sounding board for your ideas.
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.
We have an amazing group of people working on Taproot. We are currently looking for support in the following areas: fundraising and outreach. If you are interested in helping out, send an email to email@example.com or join us at one of our weekly meetings Mondays 12:00 PM at Vortex Café on Lopez Island. 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:
Taproot is a 501c(3) tax exempt nonprofit organization (EIN# 81-1346888). Your contributions to Taproot are tax deductible.
Donate through Paypal or…better yet, send a check to:
Taproot, A Lopez Kitchen
P.O. Box 551
Lopez Island, WA,98261
Who owns the business?
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. The intent is to operate Taproot using cooperative principles.
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 or send us an email for more information.
Do I need my own business license, food service permits, and insurance?
Yes, each commercial vendor must have their own business license, permits and product liability insurance. Taproot will be a certified commercial food processing SPACE in which you can do your food processing but it is not a BUSINESS under which your products can be umbrella-ed. Talk to us about your plans and we’ll try to steer you in the right direction.
Each vendor must do their own processor applications with San Juan County or the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). We are certainly willing to assist with this process however we can.