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$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative
LANSING, Mich. – Downtown Chelsea will become home to a year-round indoor farmers market and community café through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and L3C Agricole announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by April 7, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: patronicity.com/agricole.
“The Agricole Farm Stop is an innovate and productive way to keep our community and local food systems connected year-round,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
The campaign will complete the renovation of the long-vacant and historic Mack Building in downtown Chelsea. It will become an indoor and outdoor space for community connection and civic gathering. Agricole conveniently brings the region's best locally grown produce, meat, dairy, dry goods and expertly prepared whole foods to downtown Chelsea.
The Agricole Farm Stop plans to have more than 100 local farms and producers selling their products through this convenient single point of sale by early summer. Agricole will accept cash, credit and SNAP, and will participate in Double Up Food Bucks to maximize accessibility. Their model, which has successfully been in operation at Argus Farm Stop in Ann Arbor for the last 5 years, will give 75 cents of every dollar back to the local farmer or producer.
“Funds raised through the MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program will enable us to build out our business and community space in the renovated, historic Mack Building in downtown Chelsea,” said Patrick Zieske, managing member of Agricole. “Specifically, we hope to use the funds for design, engineering, plumbing, lighting, refrigeration, freezers, cafe equipment, furniture and signage. It will offer a shared social space both inside and outside on the Main Street patio. We are bringing to life our vision of a local food market for the community as we approach completion and launch in June 2019."
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.
“Creating engaging public spaces is key to great placemaking, said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The Agricole Farm Stop has the added advantage of supporting the community and local farmers by providing easy access to locally grown and produced products.”
The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of Feb. 20, 2019, MEDC has provided $6,004,441 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 194 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $7 million raised from 36,848 individual donors.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.