cobscook bay resource center
A non-profit organization, the Cobscook Bay Resource Center (CBRC) in Eastport has long focused on sustainable community development strategies for this region of Washington County. Will Hopkins, Executive Director since 1998, was eager to build the Cobscook Marketplace, a local food hub facility, with a licensed commercial kitchen, where fishermen, farmers and gardeners could process and sell local scallops and farm produce.
Beginning in 2005, at an overall cost of $150,000, CBRC began research, planning and design for the project. With a US H.U.D. grant and support from several foundations and individuals in hand, they began the first phase of construction in the summer of 2011. To raise further funds, SMM invited Will to present at one of its regular gatherings, connecting him to individuals and foundations ready to consider grant making, and assisting in writing grants.
Construction costs of $325,000 and equipment costs of $155,000 brought the total cost of the new building to $480,000. SMM helped to catalyze $200,000 of that amount over a two-year period.
The Marketplace successfully completed its first processing of scallops in early 2014.
The Cobscook Marketplace will flash-freeze scallops and process farm produce which will be sold through a marketing co-op direct to consumers, as well as to restaurants and high-end specialty stores.
A shared-use kitchen program and co-packing services will help develop and produce new products, and food service technical assistance will be provided to co-op and kitchen members.
Will has been actively involved with SMM for several years and now serves on the Steering Committee, offering a direct link to the needs of fisheries in Maine and potential collaborations in Washington County.
Photos c/o CBRC
Cobscook Bay Resource Center