Have you seen what’s Stirring outside our new food hub? A collection of benches, native plants, and a community pantry have popped up outside The Stir, 185 Royal Ave – and we need your help to keep this space functional for our community to enjoy!

The Stir is looking for folks who want to adopt care-taking tasks for the community pantry or parklet. This adoption doesn’t require a big time commitment or a certain schedule; whenever you have time to come take a peek in the pantry, dust its shelves, and make sure no one has accidentally left a perishable item inside will help us maintain the integrity of this pantry. You can also choose to bring your own non-perishables to put inside the pantry, or help acquire non-perishable donations from other folks and organizations in our community! 

Task you can adopt on your daily walk past The Stir, include:

  • Picking up garbage you see in the Parklet and/or inside the pantry
  • Sweeping the Pavement mural
  • Wiping down the benches 
  • Ensuring there are no perishables in the pantry and that its shelves are clean
  • Donating non-perishable items to the pantry

Some of these tasks require equipment that we may be able to provide if staff are onsite. We recommend Parklet Adopters come with their own cleaning supplies if they’re in the mood for a deeper cleaning day! 

Want to learn more about our Public Parklet and its role in our community? Read our Connector Column on it!

Questions? Emails us info@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com


A chat with Rob Wright

We had a brief chat with Rob Wright, a Program Coordinator at Gardengate and a Kamloops Food Policy Council Board Director. Gardengate is a program operated by the Open Door Group created as a space for “healing and recovery for individuals living with mental health conditions and addictions.” 


The Gardengate Facility

Gardengate is currently building a new training centre and commercial kitchen facility to replace a 21 year old, 700ft space that hosts their groundbreaking program.  Planning and fundraising for the facility has been in the works for the past 10 years. There have been some delays due to the COVID 19 pandemic but the facility is close to completion. Following all installations, certifications and inspections, the commercial kitchen and training centre will be open to the public. 

“Growing food, growing futures. People always associate the Gardengate program with a garden but we always emphasize that for us, it is always people before product. Gardengate is a program first and the garden is a medium and vehicle to drive people there.” – Rob Wright



The Intention 

The intention of creating the facility was to open the door to a community asset and expand on community capacity. This facility expansion will provide employment and food sovereignty within our community. The training centre and commercial kitchen will be a place to cook and eat but most importantly, it will provide the opportunity for current Gardengate clients, food entrepreneurs and the community to learn, grow and develop. 


The Partnership 

The Kamloops Food Policy Council is partnering with Gardengate by investing in necessary equipment and upgrades needed to build the facility to offer clients, food entrepreneurs and the community the opportunity to co-locate. KFPC and Gardengate will be sharing revenue from renting kitchen space, processing equipment and storage space. 



The Opportunities for Gardengate

Partnering with the KFPC provides social interaction and activation for current Gardengate clients. It provides the opportunity for those enrolled in the Gardengate program to learn and observe from food entrepreneurs. Part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gardengate is that any person or food entrepreneur that makes use of the facility will get sensitized on the Gardengate program. There may be the opportunity for clients in the Gardengate program to receive a form of paid employment through the food entrepreneurs. It is a good place for clients to have normal working relationships in a learning environment.


A chat with Kent Fawcett


We had a brief chat with Kent Fawcett, the Creator of Local Pulse. Kent runs Local Pulse as a sole proprietorship and credits his fiancé, Nic Zdunich as the mastermind behind the marketing efforts including the website, packaging and the famous Local Pulse mascots. Local Pulse was created to inspire the Kamloops community to make big changes in our world through little choices that begin with plant-based foods like Pulses. 

 Local Pulse is the anchor business for our HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control points) ready processing facility for dehydration and packaging. We are partnering with Local Pulse to develop community based and social enterprise uses of the commercial scale dehydrator.



About Local Pulse 

Kent has always been passionate about helping people through his work as a researcher. He also has a personal connection to food as someone who had an eating disorder for over 10 years. Local Pulse was created as an amalgamation of those interests and experiences. He noticed that our actions and consumption has created adverse effects to our health and the planet. As a solution, he created a food business to inspire people to eat healthy and plant-based choices. Kent created Local Pulse to teach people the impact of consumption such as the human rights issues and questionable farming practices attached to sourcing food internationally, the detrimental effects of not consuming seasonally and the damaging effects of animal agriculture. A focus on food could solve a lot of problems. Local pulse is all about thinking big but doing small things to get a lot of people engaged.

“Rather than telling people that ‘you need to be vegan’, ‘eat plant-based choices’, ‘change your life’ or ‘you’re doing this wrong’ I simply say ‘here is some hummus, it tastes good.’ It gradually gets people on board to make plant-based choices to help themselves and the planet. Every choice creates an impact!” – Kent Fawcett



Why Pulses? 

Kent realized that pulses are highly nutritious plant-based sources of protein that he could eat without any guilt. Pulses can be grown in Canada and have the lowest water footprint of any protein source. Currently, locally grown pulses are not available in grocery stores to purchase. Pulses grown in Canada are exported to India and other countries. To fill domestic demand, the same pulses are imported from countries like Turkey. Through Local Pulse, the local economy can be revitalized. Pea protein is getting a huge boom and a lot of the growth is coming from Canada. As plant-based diets are becoming more popular, this presents a good business opportunity as pulses are the most sustainable protein sources. 

Pilot Project and Feasibility Study for a Regional Food Processing and Innovation Hub 

Local pulse was one of the 5 businesses that enrolled in market validation training and coaching during the Pilot Project. The training program made use of a model obtained from Kamloops Innovation Centre (KIC), applied to tech start-ups to mentor food businesses and entrepreneurs. For Kent and most food entrepreneurs, there is a huge amount of passion and personal interest in running a food business however, there is a lot of uncertainty as they are approaching the growth stage of their business. KIC assisted in focusing on the back end to ensure Local Pulse is sustainable in the long term. 



 Impact of the Food Hub to Local Pulse

The Food Hub helps to mitigate and ease the fear and risk associated with scaling a business. Kent got the opportunity to collaborate with a strategic advisor to create a business plan. He discovered that to scale, he will have to invest in a facility, equipment and employees that will potentially cost upwards of half a million dollars. The Food Hub acts as an intermediary to prepare him for the growth stage of his business. Through the Food Hub, he can simply rent a space, test the equipment and focus on value adding activities to push his business forward. When he started his food business, he realized that a facility of this caliber was lacking in the community. There are so many talented people and entrepreneurs that are part of the Kamloops scene. Through the Food Hub, food businesses will have access to a great resource he didn’t have while starting his business.


We will like to introduce Kent Fawcett, who will be taking on the role of Food Hub Coordinator. Kent has been a valued member of the KFPC network for the last few years, as the owner and creator of Local Pulse, a plant-based food processing business that was the second place finalist for Emerging Business of the Year at the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards last year.

Kent launched his career as a food entrepreneur because he sees food as a conduit to affect other people and our planet positively. Kent is skilled at product development and testing, winning the Bronze Award in Outstanding Product Development at the From the Ground Up trade show in 2020. He is excited by the opportunity to work with prospective food entrepreneurs to turn their dream products into a “made in Kamloops” reality. Prior to founding Local Pulse, Kent received his BSc in Biochemistry from UBC and worked as a Research Technologist at STEMCELL Technologies.

We’re excited about the expertise he brings to the table in terms of project management, developing food safety systems, business development and collaborative team management.

We are celebrating a recent announcement from the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries! Kamloops Food Policy Council in partnership with the City of Kamloops was awarded $750,000 to provide shared infrastructure, processing equipment, mentorship and support for small to medium sized food entrepreneurs in Kamloops. 

The Food Hub project grew out of a pilot project and feasibility study completed in Fall 2019, led by the Kamloops Food Policy Council, supported through the Province of British Columbia and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. Feedback from 91 food businesses suggested that many of the key challenges they faced could be addressed by the support and infrastructure available through a Food Hub. 

Our aim is to create a transformative effect on our local food economy through enterprise development, food processing, distribution, aggregation and food recovery. We anticipate that an investment in shared infrastructure for food processing will create a positive feedback loop between food processing and producing in our region. 

Food Hub facilities will be created through key partnerships in three locations in Kamloops, and one mobile food processing unit, that is being implemented with Community Futures Central Interior First Nations’ Kweseltken Project. The Kweseltken Project seeks to support Indigenous food security and food related economic development that contributes to cultural livelihood.  

The Food Hub will empower food entrepreneurs to test their businesses at every stage through a subsidized mentorship program delivered in collaboration with Kamloops Innovation Center. To assist with scaling up, the Food Hub Coordinator will connect food entrepreneurs with local and larger distributors. 

There is a lot of enthusiasm from the public, local food businesses and Food Hub partners. “The Food Hub helps to mitigate and ease the fear and risk associated with scaling a business.” – Kent Fawcett, Local Pulse. A highly equipped commercial kitchen rental facility will enable food entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses without making huge capital investments.

Opendoor Group Gardengate is currently building a new training centre and commercial kitchen facility to replace a 21 year old, 700ft space that hosts their widely known program. The Kamloops Food Policy Council is partnering with Gardengate by investing in necessary equipment and upgrades for the facility. The Gardengate facility will be the first commercial facility available for rental to the public.

“Partnering with the Food Hub provides social interaction and activation for current Gardengate clients. It provides the opportunity for those enrolled in the Gardengate program to learn and observe from food entrepreneurs.” – Rob Wright, Open Door Group, Gardengate. Through our partnerships, we hope to inspire the Kamloops community to establish local food businesses. 

This accomplishment is thanks to the momentum of the Food Hub Working group and our numerous partners including representatives from the City of Kamloops, Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations, Open Door Group Gardengate, Kamloops Innovation, Local Pulse, Thompson Rivers University Culinary Arts and Kamloops Food Bank. 

For inquiries, further details and updates about the Food Hub, please visit kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com/food-hub-project/

Media Contact

Kent Fawcett

Food Hub Coordinator



The Kamloops Food Policy Council is looking to hire a Full-Time Food Hub Coordinator who will be responsible for supporting food processing in the Kamloops region, by facilitating a food hub for the region. The long-term vision for the food hub is to foster a thriving regional agriculture and food sector that is a significant contributor to the local economy in our region. The coordinator will work closely with local entrepreneurs to connect them with the support they need to create, grow, and scale local food businesses. The coordinator will work to grow and sustain a dynamic food hub as a catalyst for building a strong local food system in our region, and build the community, connections and partnerships needed to support this vision.

If you have strong Project Management, Communications and Leadership skills, read the complete job description below and apply!

Applications will be accepted until Monday, January 25, 2021.

Food Hub Coordinator Job Posting Jan 2021

You’re invited to participate in our 5 minute survey!

Do you have a small or emerging food business? Join our upcoming Market Validation Training workshops.

These workshops are hosted in partnership with Kamloops Innovation, as part of the KFPC’s Food Hub pilot project. Led by an experienced entrepreneur, the sessions will help you define your business, product and customers. Shift your focus to what differentiates your product, and how to build reliable revenue streams.


  • Sunday, September 15th            9AM – 1PM
  • Wednesday, September 18th    5PM – 7PM
  • Wednesday, September 24th    5PM – 7PM
  • Sunday, October 20th                9AM – 1PM


Cost: $100 for 4 workshops*

*Note: business owners are welcome to attend the workshop on Sunday September 15th and evaluate whether the workshops will suit the needs of their business, before committing to the remaining dates.


For more information and to register:

Email: foodhub@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com 

Phone: 778-376-2141