By Diana Bowley of the BDN Staff: DEXTER, Maine — A Farmers from within a 25-mile radius of Dexter are being encouraged to attend a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, in the Dexter Town Council chambers to comment on a proposed general store that will be devoted to selling locally grown and produced foods.
The Dexter Regional Development Corp., in coordination with the town, received a grant to renovate or rebuild the former Fossa building on Main Street into a year-round general store that is expected to be open by August 2010. The corporation also is seeking a USDA Value-Added Producers Grant to help cover the first year's operating expenses.
"The year-round general store is just Phase I of the larger project we envision that will include an online ordering system with possible delivery, the development of a local creamery, warehousing for storage, developing a large- scale shared greenhouse and opening a cafe," Judy Craig, coordinator of the project, said this week.
Craig said corporation members, who toured the Dexter Cafe building next door to the Fossa building, envision the cafe building's inclusion in the project at some point. Funding would be needed to secure the privately owned building. Craig said the dream is to serve breakfast and lunch in the cafe using locally grown and produced products and to use the kitchen for educational purposes in the evenings.
The corporation is looking for comments from local farmers and producers of other goods on how to develop the general store. At the same time, the corporation is identifying farmers who could contribute to the store.
In addition to the public meeting, a survey is being developed for farmers to help develop a working relationship among providers, sellers and consumers, Craig said.
For information, contact Craig at 924-3067 or e-mail her at judy@DexterFarmProject.com.
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