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Food industry experts hope to bring Food Innovation Center to Magic Valley

“This is going to create a space for food companies to be able to innovate and have the Magic Valley be that place of innovation in the world.”
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 6:00 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Magic Valley is a titan of industrial food, serving as a hub for agriculture farming and large-scale distribution.

But what about the average person, someone who wants to break into the industry?

“Maybe they have an idea, or they have the desire, or they have that entrepreneurial bent,” said College of Southern Idaho Provost Todd Schwarz, “they don’t really have a focused support system that this would bring.”

That’s what the Magic Valley’s own Food Innovation Center would provide.

Colleges from around the Gem State are pairing with producers and Southern Idaho Economic Development to create a place that students and entrepreneurs can come together with experts to find their way into the robust industry.

“They’ll be able to come from wherever they are in the world to this building and have everything they need in one location to launch their product from idea to the marketplace,” said Southern Idaho Economic Development Executive Director Connie Stopher. “It’s really going to be an exciting thing for the Magic Valley, whether you are an entrepreneur that’s already here, or you’re somewhere out there in the world and have an idea but just don’t know how to take it to the next step.”

The center, which will begin a pilot program this fall, will provide a commercial kitchen, marketing assistance, event space and more all designed to help a prospective business go from mom and pop to titan of industry.

“We hope that we attract talent to this valley,” Schwarz said, “and they like it here and they put down some stakes and it’s going to grow the entire fiscal base of the community.”

“This is going to create a space for food companies to be able to innovate and have the Magic Valley be that place of innovation in the world, for dairy and food and growing the next industry into the future,” Stopher said. “It’s very important to us to build that here.”

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