Innovation and Impact: Past Projects

Valley Community Kitchen

Project Description

Valley Community Kitchen aims to promote economic development in the Coal River Valley of southern West Virginia by supporting food entrepreneurship.  By providing a certified commercial kitchen, VCK will allow individuals to pursue their own entrepreneurial endeavors, while also providing a space for collaborative cooking.  In addition, VCK will serve as a link in the region’s local food system, aiming to connect the key players—growers, cooks, and retailers—and honor the strong food culture.  This project is a communal effort, calling on the resources, talent, and vision of the region and the people.

About Emily Arons

At Oberlin I majored in environmental studies and minored in history.  Bringing these two interests together, my senior honors project is a history of resistance to surface mining in Appalachia.  This project was the most defining academic experience I had, as it introduced me to the Coal River Valley region and community, sparking my interest in Appalachian food and desire to move to southern West Virginia.  After growing up in NYC, I cannot wait to dive into rural life.  Valley Community Kitchen fuses my love for food with my commitment to environmentalism and academic understanding of the history of Appalachia.

Composed in May 2010