West Coast regional grocery chain Raley’s will sponsor the Raley’s Food Lab at the upcoming [email protected] incubator in Woodland, Calif.
The Raley’s Food Lab will be a certified food facility where innovators can develop new food products, ingredients and recipes for taste testing, sampling and small-volume sales. The facility will be fully outfitted with kitchen and food preparation equipment and will be reservable for use by established and aspiring food entrepreneurs. Raley’s will also provide entrepreneurs with mentorship and support to help scale their businesses to prepare to sell at retail. Woodland, the location of the facility, Woodland is home to several global and local food processing firms and surrounding Yolo County is known for its diverse agricultural production.
Raley’s Food Lab at [email protected] will be located at the Woodland Corporate Center in downtown Woodland, within convenient walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses.
“Raley’s takes great pride operating our business in one of the richest agricultural hubs in the world. We are excited about what this region represents for the future of food production,” said Michael Teel, Raley’s owner. “The Raley’s Food Lab will support food entrepreneurs, who will lead the way to a better food system. We look forward to discovering new products and helping to bring them to our store shelves.”
As a part of the larger [email protected] incubator, Raley’s Food Lab users will also be able to take advantage of The [email protected]’s co-working office space, as well as AgStart’s business mentoring and advisory services. When it opens April 1, the [email protected] will be the largest wet-lab incubator facility in the state of California that has an agriculture and food focus, and the only startup incubator in the state combining both a food lab and comprehensive wet lab facility.
“A unique advantage of our facility is that entrepreneurs can prepare a new combination of ingredients and cooking techniques in the Raley’s Food Lab, and then immediately take their creation into the Yocha Dehe Lab to assess it for nutrient content and other health attributes,” said Leanna Sweha, AgStart program director. “The [email protected] facility will help startups commercialize new innovations for a more sustainable food system, and our facility itself will emphasize sustainability.”
Raley’s joins a unique public-private partnership that has come together to fund the $1.5 million [email protected], a shared-use incubator for entrepreneurs and innovators in Ag|Food|Health in Woodland. Previously announced sponsors include The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, which is the sponsor of the Yocha Dehe Lab, as well as the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the County of Yolo and the City of Woodland.
AgStart is a program of AgTech Innovation Alliance, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit corporation based in Woodland, California, focused on advancing innovation in Ag | Food | Health.
West Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley’s is a privately-owned and family-operated chain of 126 grocery stores that includes the Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods, Food Source, Market 5-ONE-5 and Raley’s O-N-E Market banners.