Food SPICE (Food Systems Partners Investing in Communities and Entrepreneurs) connects food businesses and other food systems partners to work together to grow equitable local economies across Michigan, with a special focus in Southwest Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. 

Our Food SPICE partners are committed to addressing: 

  • issues that growing good food and farm businesses face, 
  • barriers to getting financing or kitchen space for production, 
  • increasing sales of locally produced foods, and 
  • prioritizing racial equity in building food systems that are more just. 

Project Plan 

In 2020, 22 partners from across Michigan agreed to partner to create a stronger Michigan food system, with a particular focus in Southwest Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. 

Starting with one-on-one business support of new incubator kitchens, we seek to redesign the food system and food business collaboration infrastructure so that lower-resourced communities can use food as an equitable economic engine. 

Food SPICE is coordinated by MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

To learn more about our partners, check out our people page

Project Objectives 

To strengthen public and private partnerships for more resilient and just food systems in rural and urban communities across Michigan, we set the following objectives. 


  1. Provide technical assistance to at least 120 food and farm businesses in economically disadvantaged, rural, and urban communities in Michigan. 
  2. At least 90 food and farm businesses will have better access to financial support for their business. 
  3. At least 60 food and farm businesses will have increased sales and more customers. 
  4. Expand the Michigan Incubator Kitchen Network so that 40 new Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs can start small processing businesses and build their network of sales channels. 
  5. Food SPICE partners will have more capacity to assist food and farm business owners. 
  6. By August 2023, most Food SPICE partners will be collaborating more than they were before the project. 
  7. By August 2023, food retailers, institutions, and distributors in the Upper Peninsula and Southwest Michigan will purchase 20% more locally-produced products than they did in 2020. 

About the Partnership 

In Southwest Michigan, many of the barriers entrepreneurs face are access to capital, food and farm business technical assistance and incubation, and support for financial management and growth. We have several SW Mighican partners to support entrepreneurs: 

  • Small Business Development Battle Creek 
  • Morning Light Business Idea Incubator 
  • JPG Consulting 
  • Can-Do Kitchen 
  • SW Michigan SCORE Volunteers 
  • Michigan Good Food Funding Lending Pipeline 
  • Kalamazoo ValleyHUB Food Innovation Center 

In the Upper Peninsula, Food SPICE is partnering with the U.P. Food Exchange, a coalition of regional food system partners, to increase connectivity within the Upper Peninsula food system. Food SPICE is also working directly to develop food infrastructure, like commercial kitchens, across the U.P. Restaurants, institutions, food producers, local government, and more can participate in the food system through:

  • Regional food summits
  • Local events
  • U.P. Food Exchange Online Marketplace
  • Michigan Kitchen Incubator Network
  • U.P. Kitchen Incubator Consultation
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Technical Assistance including market analysis, supply chain analysis and consumer studies

Where We Work

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