Eastern Market Corp. (EMC) today announced a partnership with Michigan Farm to Freezer, a community-based processor of fruits and vegetables based in Traverse City, which will bring its operations to Detroit. Launched by Brandon Seng and Mark Coe in 2013, Farm to Freezer flash-freezes produce sourced from local farmers to preserve its nutrients and flavors before packaging it for local schools, grocery stores, community feeding programs, and restaurants.
EMC was awarded an $800,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services under the Community Economic Development Healthy Food Financing Initiatives for strategies reconnecting the local food system. A portion of this grant will allow Farm to Freezer to lease and renovate a 14,000-square foot freezer facility located at 1820 Mack Ave., which has been vacant for 10 years and previously housed Cattleman’s Meat.
Construction on the site is in its initial stages and is expected to be completed by July. The new facility will employ 25 people when at full capacity.
“The Farm to Freezer concept is simple and is one that generations before us put into practice … when produce was abundant, they saved and stored it for use when it wasn’t as readily available.” says Seng. “Our expansion to Detroit will help increase access to nutritious food by connecting our state’s fruit and vegetable resources with some of our community’s most pressing needs – nutritious food and jobs.”
Seng adds that working with EMC will provide Farm to Freezer with additional opportunities for innovation.
“The energy and creativity that is happening there has captured our program. We look forward to building relationships with neighboring businesses that leverage our frozen capacity and move the District’s vision forward,” he says.
EMC is a nonprofit organization that manages Eastern Market on behalf of Detroit. More information about Eastern Market events can be found here.