At its foundation, Alchemist Public Market will serve as an engine of inclusive economic development through several core services:
Small Business Incubator.
The Alchemist Kitchen program was born out of our mission to connect communities to land, food, and opportunity. The USDA-funded feasibility study for the program determined that a need existed not only for a technical assistance program, but also for the physical infrastructure of an incubator kitchen. Since 2019, we have offered the Alchemist Microenterprise Academy (AMA) and Alchemist Kitchen Incubator (AKIP) programs to help train, equip, and empower under-resourced entrepreneurs to start their own food businesses. As we have worked with these entrepreneurs, our initial findings have been confirmed regarding the need for affordable commercial kitchen space to provide them with the means to safely and legally prepare food for sale.
Alchemist Public Market will provide under-resourced food entrepreneurs with affordable access to a shared-use commercial kitchen, empowering them to start commercial production and grow their businesses. Incubator participants and other small entrepreneurs will also benefit from on-site market opportunities:
- Serving customers directly through food pods (permanent structures featuring small commercial kitchens with vending windows, akin to food trucks).
- Vending food at weekly farmers’ markets, night markets, and public events.
- Selling packaged, value-added products at an on-site retail store.
Recognizing that the Sacramento region is home to many entrepreneurial makers, including those outside of the food industry, the on-site retail shop will be dedicated to Sacramento-made products and will provide retail market opportunities to many such makers.
Alchemist Public Market will host a social enterprise cafe, which will be managed by a partner non-profit organization (NorCal Resist), providing workforce development and job placement into the restaurant industry for Sacramento residents with high barriers to employment, particularly recent immigrants and refugees with new US work authorization.
Co-Working Office Space.
This project will include a co-working office environment providing a range of services from basic office access to reserved desks and private offices. Businesses, non-profits, and others can affordably launch in professional space in this environment.
Alchemist Public Market will host a weekly certified farmers’ market as well as other regular night markets and events. The market will provide significant opportunities to local farmers and other vendors.
With dozens of food businesses operating out of Alchemist Public Market, there will be ample opportunity for cooperative bulk purchasing of ingredients from local farms via the Yolo Food Hub (in development). The Yolo Food Hub will aggregate produce from many small farms in order to provide the benefits of an economy of scale, selling large amounts of produce to institutional and commercial buyers. Alchemist Public Market businesses will be able to add value to their products through the use of local ingredients while supporting small and mid-size farms that stimulate the regional economy.