Sprout Food Hub opens for business in refurbished manufacturing plant

Sprout Food Hub, recently completed in Little Falls, MN, is a local food co-op constructed with design assistance from Widseth Smith Nolting. Three years in the making, the facility is entirely foundation- and grant-funded from countless community partners. Sprout celebrated its grand opening earlier this month.

The massive space—which once housed a Crestliner boat manufacturing operation—has been transformed and is now home to various businesses. WSN provided architectural, structural, and mechanical engineering services for the renovation of Sprout’s portion of the building (7,500 square feet).

Sprout Food Hub is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help local producers become more economically sustainable through the use of shared resources to distribute their products. The food hub creates a market for local growers and provides residents with the option to eat locally grown, healthy food. Sprout processes and distributes food to schools, senior living facilities, hospitals, community-supported agriculture customers, and any other businesses that wish to serve locally grown food.

The renovated space contains a market for area vendors (local growers and artists), a large processing kitchen, walk-in coolers and freezers, storage areas, and a demonstration kitchen that can be used for educational purposes and entertainment. The kitchen space, coolers and freezers will be available to anyone who’d like to use them, whether that’s the home gardener or a certified farmer.

The food hub now works with more than 70 local growers using sustainable practices to distribute food. The hub distributes more than 100,000 pounds of food each year.