The Entrepreneurial Center at Local Roots
Derived from “biosphere,” which is the worldwide sum of all ecosystems. A FoodSphere is the sum of all food systems in our local economy, and the connections they have to the economy, communities, and the environment.
The concept for FoodSphere: the Entrepreneurial Center at Local Roots initially came out of the 2020 Local Roots Strategic Plan.
Local Roots Board and Staff recommitted ourselves to supporting small farms and food entrepreneurs in our community and region. We noticed that many times, our staff and volunteers are helping our producers in different ways: providing technical assistance with things like regulatory guidelines, labeling, and marketing; helping producers collaborate with each other and make connections; and, providing insight and access into new markets. We asked, “How can we formalize these efforts into fundable programs to make them far more accessible and effective?
A feasibility study conducted in July 2020 found that many local businesses are growing and have hired new employees because of the support they receive from Local Roots. Further, the report determined there is a demand for additional, formalized business incubator services and programs in the future. From August 2020 – July 2021, a steering committee was tasked with the development of this new non-profit business incubator. By 2022, FoodSphere obtained 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
A vibrant, local food sphere that promotes jobs, thriving businesses, agriculture, and a healthy planet.
Cultivating economic growth and sustainability through the support of local farmers and entrepreneurs of value-added agricultural products.
Board of Directors
Matt Mariola - College of Wooster
Andrea Hoban - Long, Cook & Samsa, Inc.
Sarah Stoner - Umami Bites
Robb Stutzman - Logee, Hostetler, Stutzman and Lehman
Beth Ladrach - Autumn Harvest Farms, Local Roots
Joie Schmitz - YOGA\VIVRE
Shannon Waller - Main Street Wooster
Adam Schwieterman - Local Roots
Tiffany Leeper - Stillmeadow Acre