The Kickapoo Culinary Center is managed by the Gays Mills Economic Development Association, Inc. (GMEDA) a ten-year-old non-profit entity whose name aptly describes its mission. Day to day operation of the Center is overseen by Brad Niemcek, a veteran of a variety of start-up businesses, most of them on the East Coast.
The Culinary Center was conceived as an economic development tool and was a key factor in the village’s efforts to include a new community building among the state and federally funding efforts to recover from devastating floods of the Kickapoo River in 2007 and 2008. Those efforts, guided by a Long Range Planning Committee, many of whose members are also active in GMEDA, are focused on moving Gays Mills residents and business out of the river’s flood plain, and giving them the opportunity to find new jobs and build new businesses.
The Culinary Center will be operated as a food business incubator, providing clients with affordable access – by the hour – to a world class kitchen in addition to coaching and counseling on business formation and development. And the kitchen will also play an important role in events conducted in the Village Hall.
The new community commerce building is comprised of the 2,400-square foot kitchen, a 3,000 square foot Village Hall, a public library, new village offices and office space for Julia Henley, the village’s coordinator of flood recovery and economic development.
Find out more about the village’s ongoing redevelopment efforts here.
Learn more about the village’s Long Range Recovery Plan here. (Warning: It is a 5.8GB pdf file).
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