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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

Burgaw's Incubator Kitchen Awarded by Gov. Perdue

Governor Perdue is presenting Innovative Small Business Community Awards Monday to a handful of economic drivers across the state.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that Burgaw’s Incubator Kitchen will receive an award for living up to its namesake: incubating start-up companies across the region.

The Incubator Kitchen is housed in Burgaw’s historic train depot. One of the organizations that has set up shop is Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems, known as Feast Down East.

Director Leslie Hossfeld says the commercial kitchen is where they prepare unwanted produce, called “seconds,” for redistribution.

“Produce that is absolutely perfect doesn’t always look perfect, so it may not sell at the grocery store, for example, because it may be miss-sized. So, this is still great nutritional value, it just may not be as beautiful as some of the other products.”

“Seconds” can be used to make other items, like syrup and jam.

The Incubator Kitchen has helped many new businesses as well by providing a commercial space for entrepreneurs to perfect their products before they move into their own retail storefronts.

Hossfeld says Feast Down East is also partnering with the depot to set up a processing and distribution center for freezing produce so it doesn’t go to waste.

The center will be housed in, quite fittingly, a renovated boxcar, set to open this spring.  

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After growing up in Woodbridge, Virginia, Michelle attended Virginia Tech before moving to Wilmington to complete her Master in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Her reporting and nonfiction writing have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, within the pages of Wrightsville Beach Magazine, and in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter. Before moving to Wilmington, Michelle served as the general manager for WUVT, a community radio station in Blacksburg, Virginia. She lives with her husband Scott and their pups, Katie, Cooper, and Mosey.