Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Nonprofit Food Space Expands Into Retail

Three Sisters Kitchen Now Offers Locally Sourced Products to Grocery Stores


Three Sisters Kitchen products have become a staple on many grocery store shelves in the last few months. Three Sisters Kitchen is a nonprofit community foods space on a mission to utilize local food to create economic opportunity and improve community health. The nonprofit managed to survive the pandemic and is now back stronger than ever. The staff, educators and governing board continue to invest in the community that they call home. 

After closing down its cafe on Broadway and Central in March of 2020 in the wake of the pandemic, Three Sisters Kitchen decided to use that time to expand the nonprofit's line of specialty, locally sourced products to support a multitude of community programs that they sponsor. One of those programs is ReFresh Healthy Food Access Program, which provides training and food to food-insecure households throughout Albuquerque. 

"It was a way to keep as many of our restaurant team working as we could, to keep buying as many local ingredients as we could, and to learn as much as we could about manufactured production to strengthen the Food Business Training Program that we lead each year for aspiring manufactured foods producers," Director of Three Sisters Kitchen Anzia Bennett said in an interview. "We have been so excited at the response to the launch of our product line, TSK: Food Group. All proceeds support our community-based programs. And they are just really delicious."

Three Kitchen Sisters also runs Harvest to Health program, which provides food, health and gardening training to home health aides providing care for homebound seniors. Harvest to Health Program has partnerships with Encuentro, Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque, Presbyterian Healthcare Services and VeggieGrower Gardens.

"Local food is at the center of all our work at Three Sisters Kitchen. Each year we offer a Food Business Training Program for aspiring manufactured foods entrepreneurs looking for opportunities to explore their food business concepts and learn what it takes to launch a viable food business. Graduates of that program can access a year of free commercial kitchen access, low-interest loans backed through an amazing partnership with Nusenda Credit Union's Co-op Capital Program, and as much technical assistance as we can provide to support the launch and growth of their food businesses," Bennet said.  

Products that you can find at a host of local vendors include granola, waffle mixes and spicy shakes. Three Sisters Kitchen sells its products at Silver Street Market, La Montanita Co-op, Polk's Folly Farm Stand, Tiny Grocer ABQ, Flyby Provisions, New Mexico Love Box, Red Planet Comics and Books, Luna and Luz, MoGro Mobile Grocery, SilverLeaf Farms CSA, Statewide Products and Stokli General. For anyone interested in their products, they have an online store (threesisterskitchen.org). 

"The commitment to a healthy community and vibrant local food system is at the center of our work—that allows us to engage in all sorts of conversations and do all sorts of programming and still stay true to our mission. There is so much great community food work happening all over New Mexico, and we love being a part of it," Bennett said.


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