News & Blog
*Rendering courtesy of Truth Box Architects
Happy (belated) New Year!
We've been so busy, we can't believe it's already February! I'm sure some of you have gone by the future site of Urban Greens and noticed it's been pretty quiet over there. While it may seem still, we've been working overtime on all the details required to break ground this spring.
Over the last year, a lot has happened for Urban Greens: In partnership with Truth Box Architects and D+P Realty, the overall development was awarded a Rebuild RI tax credit, helping make sure the project moves forward. And since May, Urban Greens has raised nearly $400,000 towards store opening costs! Due to some planning changes to the overall project (to both the housing aspect and our store) we were not able to break ground before winter, but we are ready to go this spring!
Project Changes & Timeline
As you can see from the updated rendering above, the project has undergone a significant change. After reviewing several options, our partners in the development, Truth Box Architects and D+P Realty, felt it made more sense to keep Urban Greens as a standalone building, moving housing from above the store to next door. This standalone store will have even more visibility, and give us more flexibility in our store design. While changes like this mean some extra planning time, we’re very excited about the new design!
It’s important to note that this will push the store’s opening by a few months. Urban Greens had a goal of opening by the end of 2017, and because of the schedule change upfront, we now plan to open in early 2018. We understand this has been a long project, but we’re committed to seeing this through—and we want members and supporters to know how committed we are to this project.
We’ll be planning a groundbreaking event for this spring, as well as our annual member meeting, and we’ll be sending out emails soon with even more specifics.
Urban Greens Food Co-op is currently hiring for the following position:
General Manager, Urban Greens Food Co-op, Providence, RI
Urban Greens Food Co-op, a consumer-owned grocery store startup located in Providence, RI, seeks a General Manager (GM) to oversee both the final stages of the startup process, and store operations once open.
The GM position represents an exciting opportunity to take a leading role in opening the only consumer-owned grocery store in Providence.. The diversity of the surrounding population--as well as the current lack of local food choices in retail groceries in Rhode Island--positions the Co-op to take on a leading role within the state by both increasing the availability of local foods, and promoting culturally appropriate healthy food choices.
Urban Greens has secured a location, is currently in the process of securing its remaining finances and is working with industry experts on the store design. Target opening is Fall 2017 in a mixed-use development that will include affording housing, located just west of downtown Providence, where 3 economically, culturally and ethnically diverse neighborhoods come together (Federal Hill, the West End, and Upper South Providence).
From the rise of farm-to-table restaurants to the frequency of farmer's markets in cities across the country, the local food movement has expanded significantly in recent years. In states throughout the country, nonprofit organizations and small businesses are working hard to decrease food miles and provide an alternative to corporate food. However, these organizations and businesses often struggle to effectively address issues of access and cultural diversity. Rachel Slocum, an environmental justice advocate, has noted, “In alternative food practice is the possibility to make food production more ecologically sustainable, just and humane and, more broadly, to enable thinking about ethical relations. But community food efforts currently also enable an intimacy that results in collective sadness because it is based on the closeness of similar people.” The plethora of organizations, individuals, and businesses that comprise Rhode Island's local food infrastructure have done incredible work to increase access to healthy, local foods and support small-scale farmers and food producers. However, many of these markets, restaurants, and small businesses have been slow to address the needs of underserved and underrepresentative communities.
Here at Urban Greens one of our seven guiding values is Equal Access, which we define as: “Every person, regardless of economic or social status, deserves access to healthy, affordable food that is also culturally relevant and produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.” Urban Greens is dedicated to prioritizing local sourcing, and we are excited to work with farmers and producers in Rhode Island. At the same time, Urban Greens will be a full-scale grocery store commited to offering products that are representative of the diverse cultures and traditions in the state. As a large scale buyer, Urban Greens will be able to incentivize local farmers to diversify their product selection and experiment with different crops in order to better meet the needs of communities in West and South Providence.Read More
I am issuing a Grain Challenge for 2017! Dare to cook one alternative grain per month. This recipe alone has FOUR! You can make this dish vegetarian by using regular cheese or even non-vegetarian by adding ground beef or chicken. Any way you cook it this recipe is filling, delicious and healthy.
Vegan Four Grain Vegetable Bowl
A Vegetarian sweet spiced Grain and Bean Bowl
o 1 15 oz. can(s) black beans, (drained & rinsed)
o 1 tablespoon(s) oil
o 3/4 cup(s) carrot, diced fine
o 3/4 cup(s) leek, diced fine
o 3/4 cup(s) onion, diced fine
o 1/2 cup(s) celery, diced fine
o 3 1/4 cup(s) vegetable broth, (or more if needed)(divided use)
o 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
o 1/2 teaspoon(s) cumin, ground
o 1/2 teaspoon(s) coriander, ground
o 1/2 teaspoon(s) cinnamon, ground
o 2 garlic cloves, minced
o 1/2 cup(s) brown rice
o 1/2 cup(s) lentils, dried
o 1/4 cup(s) barley, uncooked
o 1/4 cup(s) raisins
o 1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
o 1/8 teaspoon(s) pepper
o 1 cup(s) tomato, diced
o 1/3 cup(s) cheese, vegan
1. Cook the brown rice in water and salt as directed. Cool and set aside.
2. Boil the barley in enough vegetable stock (1 1/2 - 2 cups) until the barley is cooked, puffed, and tender. This could take an hour or more. Cool and set aside.
3. Sweat carrots through celery in Dutch oven for 10 minutes over medium heat.. (Place 1/4 cup vegetable stock, then the celery, then the carrots, cover and cook. Do not stir.)
4. Add the oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the leeks, onions, vegetable broth (1 1/2 cups), chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic, lentils, raisins, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, simmer until the lentils are cooked. Add the beans and tomatoes, heat 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool. Add the rice and barley. Mix gently.
5. Add the cheese and enjoy!
About My Chef Lara
My Chef Lara is comprised of two chefs who believe that wellness starts with the food we eat. Cooking and eating for your health is within everyone's reach and we are here to educate people that they can achieve their wellness goals and still enjoy what they eat.
My Chef Lara comes into your home, cooks about a month worth of meals to your specifications, packages them and put them into your refrigerator and freezer for you to eat at your convenience. Our model of cooking many meals at once makes our services affordable and our customization allows you to reach whatever goals or needs you desire.
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