The Fresh Foundation, a nonprofit 501c3, is excited to announce the next phase in its evolution. It will now shift its focus to wholesale distribution of locally grown foods and continue to support and grow regional food security programs. Now, the Fresh Foundation is in the process of choosing an operator to oversee the retail portion of the independent Fresh Food Hub store, currently located at 1570 Grand Ave. in Norwood. The new operator of the Food Hub will focus on the retail sector to sell both locally sourced food and organic and fair-trade products.

Two weeks ago, Thorneycroft Kitchen and Bakery announced closure of its retail space, but owners said they’d continue to offer baked goods inside the Fresh Food Hub. The Fresh Foundation hopes to collaborate to continue the sale of locally-produced goods in Norwood in an innovative cafe/grocery store setting with the new operator.

To facilitate this evolution, the Fresh Food Hub store will be temporarily suspending service, including online delivery/pick-up beginning Sept. 15. The foundation will be announcing its new location and new operator soon, and will continue to help the local food movement thrive in the local region. 

The Fresh Foundation is currently in negotiations for the location of a new retail space. 

This transition to an operator focused on the retail aspect will help the Fresh Foundation focus on its nonprofit mission of increasing overall volume and distribution of local foods and supporting food security programs. The Fresh Foundation currently aggregates foods from more than 45 local and regional farms and distributes those via a newly designed wholesale operation that sells to local institutions including food banks and other food security programs. 

The Fresh Food Hub has served the Norwood community since 2016. The Hub has purchased more than half a million dollars in local food since its inception and has donated more than 2,000 pounds of local food to food banks and food security programs, with an estimated 2,500 more pounds to be delivered this year. 

In 2020, the non-profit Fresh Foundation was created to provide a platform to better support food security programs and distribute locally grown food. Current programs include the free Senior Lunch on Sundays; distribution of local food to the West End Family Backpack Program, Naturita Elementary and Food Banks; as well as produce donations to food banks through the Community Food Connection program. 

Community support from patrons, co-op members, staff, volunteers and the foundation’s very important grantors has been the backbone of the Fresh Food Hub and Fresh Foundation organizations success. 

The true north guiding the mission of the Fresh Food Hub and Fresh Foundation are the local farmers and ranchers providing the region with organic, sustainable and ethically produced food. 

“We are excited to nurture the next phase of our development to strengthen the local food network bringing local food to local plates,” Leila Seraphin, cofounder of the Fresh Food Hub, said in a news release over the weekend. 

Those interested in helping with the transition or anyone wanting more information should email Seraphin at leilafli@yahoo.com.  

“We anticipate markdowns on current store inventory starting Sept. 1 and will continue to be open regular hours until the store closes on Sept. 15 to help in the transition to a new space and operator,” she said.