The City of Freeport formed a “Food Team” in 2007 to identify reuse opportunities at Rawleigh related to the growing local and regional food economy. From this, the City formed a strong partnership with the University of Illinois Extension that has led to detailed planning for Pretzel City Kitchens, a commercial kitchen focused on incubating food enterprises, to be located in downtown Freeport (with the goal of opening by 2016).
The Pretzel City Kitchens planning team (a multi-stakeholder group) is focused on a downtown location to start up. However, Rawleigh could be a natural location to offer affordable space for growing food enterprises that graduate from the Pretzel City Kitchen or for a potential local/regional food hub. Visit this site to learn more about the status of the Pretzel City Kitchens project.
Additionally, Rawleigh’s historic industrial architecture is well suited for a future year-round public market. The Pretzel City Kitchens team also plans for small-scale local foods retail within the proposed Kitchens location. If the demand for this retail outgrows the space, Rawleigh could be a potential future larger space, integrated into the first floor of the Multi-modal Center in Building E or in the first floor of Building B.