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Testing the Market Before Taking the Leap

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The Leaf and Seed Café, a made-from-scratch vegan meal service that focuses on creating vegan meals that are reminiscent of childhood favorites, first started out in 2017 with just the idea of providing vegan meals for special events.

In order to grow the business into their vision, The Leaf and Seed Café knew they needed additional resources. They identified a need for additional space, a general kitchen that held licenses to make meals and guidance on licenses to apply for through local health departments. The Leaf and Seed Café contacted CIFT to kick-start their business.

CIFT helped The Leaf and Seed Café begin their journey of providing locally sourced organic products by setting them up with resources from the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK). The NOCK enabled The Leaf and Seed Café to grow their business with different tools for success.

“CIFT enabled me to start my business without the investment of purchasing equipment. It allowed me to test the market before taking the leap.”

The NOCK and CIFT worked with The Leaf and Seed Café to get them all the licenses and credentials needed to establish their business. Resources were provided for insurance, containers and food safety. The NOCK also gave The Leaf and Seed Café access to an array of kitchen appliances like commercial convection ovens, grill tops and ample refrigerated and freezer storage, which saved The Leaf and Seed Café over $85,000 in unnecessary investments.

The Leaf and Seed Café has since then created two new jobs and retained over $3,000 in sales. The cost savings equaled over $24,000, while investments increased over $250,000.

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