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A New Food and Nutrition Center

The Open Door is pleased to announce a $2.25M capital campaign to build a Food and Nutrition Center with the acquisition of 26 Emerson Avenue (the old food coop) to increase service capacity throughout the region. 

This project will provide a new production kitchen, add cold and dry storage, enhance client service areas, increase transportation capacity, invest in technology architecture, and improve the living environment for low and moderate-income populations. 

We need to raise $400K to close the campaign and start construction in the fall of 2021

Project Phase II

In 2015 The Open Door completed Phase I of a major capital improvement project to increase dry and cold storage, add parking, renovate pantry to a best practices model, upgrade systems, address accessibility issues, and create a training and volunteer space. Phase I has been completely paid for and the mortgage was retired. Last year, the pounds of food distributed doubled from 1M pounds of food pre-project to 2M pounds 3 years post-project completion. 

The Open Door is now poised for Phase II with the acquisition of 26 Emerson Avenue to build a new commercial kitchen, to add cold and dry storage, and training areas, and to provide assistance to improve the living environment for low and moderate-income populations.  

The Open Door has purchased 26 Emerson Avenue, a 4500 sq. ft. building located immediately adjacent to The Open Door’s existing building at 28 Emerson Avenue, with favorable financing from a local lender. (10 years fixed rate at 4.5%) Nestled along the property line, the two buildings will be joined by a 2900 square foot connector addition to provide a cohesive campus for the extensive social and nutrition services provided by The Open Door.  Purchase was contingent on zoning relief for sideyard setbacks, lot coverage, and required off-street parking. All zoning relief was secured as requested. 

Total additional space: Building 4500 sq. ft.+  

Connector Addition: 2900 sq. ft. = 7400 sq. ft. 

The Design

After an extensive planning process that has included input from staff, clients, volunteers, and board members, Treehouse Designs of Rockport has been retained to provide full architectural drawings, complete bid package with construction budget. The Open Door has chosen to join the two properties combining them into one. A new perimeter deed has been recorded to reflect these changes.

Commercial Kitchen 

A brand new, state of the art teaching and production kitchen will be used to prepare fresh meals daily for our programs. From Community Meals, to Healthy choice. Easy Choice meals, to Senior Soup and Salad, partially prepped, fully prepped and grab ‘n go items, the kitchen will be able to increase production and utilize more food rescue product for distribution. Home to our On Your Mark youth training program, the kitchen will become an experiential learning classroom.  

Nutrition Counseling/Training/Classroom Space 

The Open Door is strategically focused on health outcomes through nutrition education and individual nutrition counseling. This new space will provide ample space for private counseling, workshops and training activities open to our clients and the public. 

Service access 

Connecting our existing warehouse to the new addition and building, a service hallway will allow safe passage for food headed to the kitchen. Current conditions require wending through a small office and the dining room in order to reach the kitchen. 

Cold Storage for Kitchen 

Our current kitchen is served by a shared cooler space in the main warehouse. A new dedicated cold storage unit will be used exclusively for the kitchen and easily accessible from the warehouse.

Dishwashing Room/Laundry Room 

The new plan allows for our dishwashing area to be completely separate from the food prep area. In our current configuration, dirty dishes are not far from the food prep areas. 

Dry Storage 

Additional dry storage space in the new building will allow for us to take advantage of leverage buying or larger donations. It also enables us to repurpose some existing space for processing food rescue donations in a dedicated space. 

Flexible Space and Capacity 

The new building will house our two electric kilns used to fire bowls year round for the Empty Bowl project that engages hundreds of people each year. 

Innovative Growth: Medically Tailored Groceries (MTG)

Strategically positioned to work with healthcare providers to offer medical nutrition therapy coupled with Medically Tailored Groceries, the new building offers capacity for innovation and growth at the intersection of nutrition and healthcare.