“We want to help cities. And we really want to start with Milwaukee.”
– Chris Corkery, CEO of Planet2Plate
This week, Near West Side Partners Executive Director Keith Stanley had the opportunity to sit down with Chris to discuss his vision of the “Milwaukee Food Tech Incubator” coming to the Near West Side.
Keith Stanley: What is Planet2Plate?
Chris Corkery: We are a community-focused green real estate developer. That basically means we are committed to the development work that brings together green infrastructure, job creation, project-based learning, and food security. We believe, in particular, that we can foster a symbiotic ecosystem of businesses and community groups to achieve these goals.
In other words, Planet2Plate is looking to bring together for-profit local food businesses, local non-profit organizations, and local neighborhoods to help people in the Near West Side have better access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and produce. The main way this will be done is by building a “state-of-the-art indoor farm,” also known as the “food tech incubator.” The tentative location for this incubator is on the 27th block of W. Wells. St., and Corkery described the Near West Side Neighborhood as “an incredible location.”
Pictured above: Vertical hydroponic systems used to create indoor farms
Photo courtesy of Planet2Plate website
In other words, Planet2Plate is a development organization looking to bring together for-profit local food businesses, local non-profit organizations, and local neighborhoods to help people in the Near West Side and surrounding areas have better access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and produce. The main way this will be done is by building a “state-of-the-art indoor farm,” also known as the “food tech incubator.” The tentative location for this incubator is on the 27th block of W. Wells. St., and Corkery describes the Near West Side Neighborhood as “an incredible location.”
Pictured above: The vision for the 27th block of W. Wells St.
(Photo courtesy of Chris Corkery)
Corkery described Planet2Plate’s model as community focused, describing that there would be no gentrification of the Near West Side, but instead emphasis on business access, integrating the local youth, and creating sustainable jobs.
Keith Stanley: What would you tell local residents or local businesses who want to buy food locally and are concerned about the supply chain and how the city is set up?
Chris Corkery: We look at things in a 3Cs model with respect to getting our job done. There’s capital, there’s the customer, and there’s the community. What we’re doing right now is pulling together a coalition, or an alliance of partners, that embody this supply-chain resilience movement. And these partners, unlike us, are local. They are existing. They are established. And we’re hoping this connection can then become a resource before we even exist – because it will take some time to physically create a space. We want that resource to be front a center for the folks who are looking for outlets and who are looking for ways to be educated. And also to be able to then have some purchasing power to have access to food.
Corkery also mentioned that Planet2Plate is hoping to post a resource guide to their website in July for local residents and businesses. In the meantime, click here to read the field report.
“Calling all customers of leafy greens who are eager to participate in this decentralized, resilient, healthier ecosystem!” Planet2Plate’s goal is to empower individuals, strengthen communities, and build a brighter future for cities
(Photo courtesy of Planet2Plate website)
For those who want more information or for those who want to better understand the vision, Chris is the point person to contact. “If anyone has thoughts or ideas on how to support the customer,” he says, “we’d be really excited to talk through that… We’re inviting you to invest and participate in this.”
Chris Corkery can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also be sure to check out Planet2Plate’s website to stay up to date on the progress being made in the Near West Side.
To watch the entire interview, click on the link below.