Article published by The Daily Record
Written by Scott Stewart

Nine years of aspirations, hard work and fundraising finally came together Monday for the grand opening of No More Empty Pots’ Food Hub in Historical Florence.

The Food Hub brings together a variety of services from No More Empty Pots to bring food, training and business opportunities into the community. It features two commercial kitchens that can be rented, as well as space for class instruction, business incubation, meetings and enjoying food.

Food Hub, located at 8501 N. 30th St., also offers the Cups Café, which is open to the public, and a free-use conference room.

No More Empty Pots President and CEO Nancy Williams said the goal is to connect people with the resources that they need in order to live their best lives.

“This space is to be responsive to community needs, to provide equitable access to food, education, training and entrepreneurship opportunities,” Williams said. “In the Food Hub, you will experience food production, processing, consumption, distribution and recycling all in one place.”

Dozens of people toured the new facility Monday. No More Empty Pots also celebrated its more recent culinary workforce training graduate, San Chambers.

Chambers said he discovered No More Empty Pots by being curious about the groups renovation work along 30th Street. He saw sticker for the group, took out his phone and Googled it.

“I liked what I was reading,” he said. “They have got a very well-oiled machine. I was very impressed by it.”

With a partner, Chamber plans to use the facility’s rental kitchen to start a Jamaican delivery-and-carryout-only restaurant.

Williams said No More Empty Pots could use volunteers attorneys and business professionals to help its clients navigate some hurdles facing them as they seek to grow their own businesses.

“We support entrepreneurs in this facility and through our programs,” Williams said. “They’re always looking for people who they can trust to help them understand the things that they need to do to run their businesses well and to grow their businesses.”

Some of the entrepreneurs want to expand but aren’t sure how to proceed from a legal standpoint, while others want to grow beyond sole proprietorship but don’t understand what needs to happen to do that, Williams said.

“Anyone who can help them with business plans, deciphering information about businesses and how to pull different documents together and understand how best to run their business would be awesome,” Williams said.

To volunteer assistance, contact Williams at 402-502-1642 or at nwilliams@nmepomaha.org.

No More Empty Pots also has a network of community partners, including Metropolitan Community College, which is backing the nonprofits Culinary Workforce Training Program, and United Way of the Midlands, which is funding its Community Market Basket Program, which provides fresh produce to the community.

For more information on No More Empty Pots, including how to access the resources at Food Hub, visit nmepomaha.org or facebook.com/nomoreemptypots.