Non-profit local food grants to Farmer’s Market vendors – Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — Three agricultural businesses received grants of $500 each last weekend to pursue growth opportunities and expand product line.

The funding, provided by the Robertson Foundation, was distributed by the non-profit Bread Riot Food Association of Rowan County at the Salisbury County Rowan Farmer’s Market. The organization’s board of directors arrived at 10 a.m. sharp to shake hands with each recipient, each having applied for the grant in April. The application was an open process that allowed companies to explain, in their own words, how each would use the aid.

One of the recipients, a Salisbury bakery company specializing in a wide range of courgette breads, is focused on expanding the product range and overall business growth.

“We want to cultivate a healthy experience with zucchini bread,” said Hazjel Cortlandt, co-CEO of Just About the Bread. “The beauty of this one thrives on a base product.”

Coconut and carrot flavors are the most popular varieties. The bread also includes rich cocoa ingredients, with a variety of chocolate chips and a double chocolate zucchini bread. They also offer gluten-free and vegan options.

The company was established in 2020 and, according to the CEOs, has done well in sales since. Its organic baked goods can even be found at the Caribbean Island Café on West Innes Street.

Kimberly Cortlandt, Hazjel’s co-CEO and wife, said receiving the grant was exciting because it was the company’s first time applying for funding.

Bread Riot President Dottie Hoy contacted Liberty Farm, of Cleveland, to request funding. The company is looking to purchase a commercial grade mixer for their dairy goat farm.

Owner Madison Johnson, who started selling soaps made from goat’s milk when she was 17, said the investment would make it easier to scale up batch production.

“We opened in 2019 selling only soap and lotions,” Johnson said. “This summer, we opened the dairy.

According to her, the Tuscan garlic spread is a customer favourite. Goat’s milk is also used to make lip butters, lotions and original soaps.

While the grants are primarily used to develop equipment and variety, China Grove florist Big Dog Flowers plans to use the $500 for his class in the winter to force the planting of tulip bulbs. According to founder Sally Mabry, who operates the flower garden alone, the grant will help her order enough supplies for each student to start their own gardening experience. She even gifted the Bread Riot board a bouquet of summer flowers from her company on Saturday.

Board member CJ Peters said supporting local growers is crucial as it benefits the county’s economy and the health of the community.

“It’s important to eat local because it comes from our environment and we know where it comes from,” he says. “These people care about what they feed you.”

He also explained that this isn’t the first time Bread Riot has partnered with a foundation to provide grants. By supporting local businesses, it grows the economy and helps replenish funds to continue helping farmers.

Hoy went on to explain that providing grants to local growers is wonderful because it helps continue Bread Riot’s mission of supporting local businesses and ensuring the community always has access to fresh, local produce.

James V. Payne