FY2024 Awardess

Congratulations to the following project beneficiaries on receiving grant awards through the Healthy Food Financing Fund!

Below is a description of all the awardees as provided by each applicant.

Food Retail | Brazos View Farms LLC | Los Ojos, NM

Brazos View Farms in Los Ojos, New Mexico, is a regenerative agriculture venture run by a woman and minority. It employs local residents, aligning with the community’s diversity, and markets its products through a farm stand, local markets, and restaurant supply. It is gearing up for expanded collaborations in 2024, supplies schools as part of the New Mexico Grown program, and has adopted hydroponics. This project will construct a permanent farm stand and a processing/storage facility to enable Brazos View Farms to meet the demands of its expanded operations. This infrastructure is essential for the farm to scale up and reliably provide fresh, locally grown produce to the community and school programs.

Food Retail | Sangre de Cristo Valley Market | Questa, NM

In July 2023, the closing of Questa Center Supermarket turned Questa village into a food desert. This family-operated market had been a community staple since 1959. Dominick Apodaca, who grew up in the family business, left his job in Colorado to start Sangre de Cristo Valley Market in Questa. This project will support several new refrigeration compressors to secure the necessary infrastructure for the market’s longevity and address food security in this rural area.

Food Retail | Sweet Mercy Farms | Albuquerque, NM

Sweet Mercy Farms raises grass-fed beef, grain-fed heritage pork and pastured lamb. This project will support the construction of a versatile metal building on the farm, designated for a retail farm store, a commercial kitchen for meat processing, a distribution center for NM Grown products, and enhanced cold storage facilities. This financial backing is crucial for reducing market delays, addressing the butcher shortage in New Mexico, and facilitating the distribution of local produce, thereby bolstering the farm’s and the state’s agricultural infrastructure.

Food Retail | Dixon Cooperative Market | Dixon, NM

The Dixion Cooperative Market, a for-profit entity in New Mexico, is owned by over 440 member households and governed by a five-member Board of Directors, elected by the members. This project will support the Cooperative’s expansion, enhancing the bulk retail segment and storage capacity. This includes improved cold storage for perishables, enabling larger purchases from local farmers lacking storage facilities.

Food Retail | Major Market Inc. | Zuni, NM

Major Market Inc. (MMI) is a tribal family owned and operated grocer and cafe located in the Pueblo of Zuni in rural western New Mexico.  This project’s overarching aim is to strengthen Major Market Inc.’s (MMI) food storage capacity, enabling the Zuni-family owned and operated grocer to increase access to healthy foods for the Pueblo of Zuni and surrounding areas.

Food Retail | B Street Market LLC | Mountainair, NM

B Street Market in Mountainair New Mexico has been in existence for 6 years. The project aims to enhance rural food supply and storage through strategic upgrades. This project focuses on expanding cold storage and processing capabilities at the 115-year-old B Street Market, addressing supply chain vulnerabilities highlighted by the pandemic. This initiative not only aims to improve community health by making fresh food accessible but also to establish a sustainable model for rural stores nationwide.

Food Retal | Estacion de Inspriacion | Hillsboro, NM

Estacion de Inspriacion (EDI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, promotes educational and workforce development across diverse communities. Led by a board with 50+ years of business experience, it aims to enhance social welfare and community well-being. EDI, a multi-phase initiative, is progressing towards its third phase: establishing a retail market and commercial kitchen to supply healthy local foods to residents and tourists. This phase, supported by the Healthy Food Financing Fund (HFFF), aims to enhance access to local products and distribution opportunities for suppliers. The project’s goal is to overcome capital barriers for EDI and local growers in this underserved NM area.

Food Retail | Work in Beauty Inc. | Ramah, NM

Founded in 2005, Work in Beauty (WIB) is a Gallup, NM-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, operating primarily through El Morro Feed and Seed and the Regenerative Learning Center in Candy Kitchen, NM. With a governance structure that includes Native American representation, WIB dedicates itself to developing a sustainable, regenerative local food system to uplift New Mexico’s rural areas. The organization focuses on educational outreach and retail initiatives designed to empower local farmers and enhance regional agricultural practices.

This project will support essential upgrades at El Morro Feed and Seed, targeting food preservation, storage expansion, and equipment modernization. This grant will facilitate the enhancement of cooling systems for produce, increase storage capabilities for a wider product range, and improve operational efficiency for retail and educational outreach, significantly benefiting the local community’s food system.

Food Retail | Los de Mora Local Growers Cooperative | Mora, NM

Los De Mora (LdM) Growers’ Cooperative is a full-service brick and mortar grocery store in the heart of Mora, NM. The LdM cooperative’s mission is to offer local farmers and ranchers a place to sell their products, provide healthy food to our community which previously had been a food desert, and create jobs in our community.  After 11 years, Los de Mora, resilient through COVID and the CCHP fire, aims to revitalize their space, formerly Russell’s store from the ’70s. This involves expanding retail space, modernizing the commercial kitchen, broadening product lines, and incorporating efficient cooling systems. This project will facilitate these enhancements, focusing on providing a diverse product range, improving customer experience, and upgrading kitchen and refrigeration equipment for a more efficient operation.

Food Retail | Magdalena Food Cooperative | Magdalena, NM

The Magdalena Food Cooperative (MFC) in New Mexico aims to provide high-quality, nutritious food at fair prices while supporting the local economy and community. Initially managed by a Board of Directors, it will later transition to oversight by a general manager and elected board members to establish long-term objectives and strategies.  This initiative will enable the Magdalena Food Cooperative (MFC) to launch a community-owned grocery in New Mexico, offering a range of products including a butcher, deli, and fresh produce. Phase 1 of the project, supported by HFF funds, includes conducting a financial feasibility study, developing a business plan, and renovating the site. This foundational phase aims to ensure the cooperative’s sustainability by selling local produce, reinvesting in the community, and promoting healthy living through education and outreach.

Aggregation / Distribution / Transportation | Table Top Co-op | Tucumcari, NM

Table Top Co-operative, a five-year coop based in Tucumcari, NM, is a community-driven agricultural initiative positioned to shape the future of the local food system in eastern NM. The project focuses on expanding agricultural aggregation through the development of a centralized hub, and will enhance processing and storage capabilities, facilitating improved community food access and fostering agricultural growth in the region.

Aggregation / Distribution / Transportation | Indian Pueblo Cultural Center | Albuquerque, NM

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, owned by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico and governed by the 19 Pueblos District, is a cultural hub celebrating Pueblo culture and providing economic opportunities. It welcomes around 60,000 visitors each year, with operations guided by a dedicated administrative team, Board Members, and Shareholders from the Tribal Councils. The center is managed by a seven-member board, predominantly composed of Pueblo members, elected by the 19 Shareholders.

HFF funding will contribute significantly to the development of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s Entrepreneur Complex, offering critical support for food and agricultural entrepreneurs. This aid is essential for promoting food security, cultural preservation, and economic resilience within the community, thus amplifying the impact and reach of local food systems among Native populations.

Processing | BeeSezi LLC | Fruitland, NM

Founded in 2018, BeeSezi. is a Navajo-owned and operated company, represented by an independent producer. The business focuses on processing Navajo white, yellow, and blue corn into traditional Navajo food products, embodying its name ” BeeSezi.,” which signifies “I stand” in Navajo, symbolizing a commitment to cultural values and indigenous agriculture. The initiative to modernize an outdated corn mill, crucial for Navajo cornmeal production, involves relocating the mill to a new portable building, upgrading its power supply, and enhancing the mill’s efficiency and increasing its output. This upgrade will significantly bolster the business’s capacity to supply traditional Navajo food products to the community.

Processing | Three Sisters Kitchen (TSK) | Albuquerque, NM

Founded in 2016, Three Sisters Kitchen (TSK) is a nonprofit with a strong leadership team and 26 staff members running several food programs. This project aims to provide a commercial kitchen for FBTP graduates. This program trains 10-15 low-income entrepreneurs annually, offering them the necessary resources and support to start their own food businesses.

Processing | The Indigenous Farm Hub (IFH) | Corrales, NM

IFH, with four years of experience in training Indigenous farmers and enhancing local food systems in NM, evolved from a Tides Center and One Generation pilot to a project under NISN, a 501(c)(3) organization. Both IFH and NISN focus on integrating traditional Indigenous farming practices and expanding agribusiness opportunities, particularly for NM Grown suppliers, within a Native-led educational and agricultural network. This project will enable IFH to enhance resources for Native and underserved farmers aiming for NM Grown certification and to develop their agricultural or value-added operations.

Processing | High Country Meats | Raton, NM

High Country Meats in Raton, NM, is a woman- and family-owned business with over 29 years of experience, specializing in high-quality beef, pork, and lamb processing, currently operating as a USDA federally inspected facility.  This project will enhance High Country Meats capacity to expand ground meat production, thus increasing protein access for institutions and underserved communities in Northeast New Mexico. This financial support will facilitate the necessary upgrades to boost processing capacity and distribution, addressing the region’s critical shortage of local meat processing services and fulfilling High Country Meats’ mission to nourish Northern New Mexico more effectively.

Production | Ledoux Grange, LLC | Mora, NM

Ledoux Grange is a small, woman-owned, beginner family farm. Ledoux Grange is focusing on enhancing its sustainable agriculture practices. The project focuses on expanding sustainable agriculture practices through regenerative soil management and introducing light machinery to replace labor-intensive manual farming, addressing the aftermath of regional fires and erosion. The funding will enable the transition to small-scale equipment that protects the fragile soil from further compaction and erosion, allowing the farm to process grains, pulses, and seeds for local customers. The farm is diversifying its production through cultural and regional offerings for the New Mexico Grown program.

Production | Nelson Farm | Texico, NM

Nelson Farm is a family-run sole proprietorship where the owners personally handle all aspects of growing, processing, and distribution directly from their farmstead. The farm has been recognized as a qualified supplier by the NM Grown program and supplies produce to several educational institutions, a learning center, and a food hub.  This project will enable Nelson Farm to build a facility for washing, packing, and storing produce, addressing current limitations in processing and storage. This enhancement will significantly boost their capacity to meet local demand for fresh fruits and vegetables, including through the NM Grown program. The funding is crucial for expanding production and processing capabilities, thereby fulfilling community needs more effectively. 

Production | Bamboo Farms LLC | Ribera, NM

Bamboo Micro Farms, LLC is a family-run operation in northeast New Mexico’s Tri County region, devoted to making nutritious microgreens more accessible to underrepresented communities. In line with the NM Grown program, Bamboo Micro Farms is focusing its growth to ensure that fresh, affordable microgreens reach marginalized populations by delivering to local institutions such as the San Miguel senior center.  The farm’s expansion plan includes increasing microgreen production, as well as improving refrigeration and delivery systems to more effectively meet the needs of these communities.

Production | Firm Foundation Farms, LLC | Carlsbad, NM

Firm Foundation Farms, LLC is a 3.6-acre operation that offers pork and vegetables at the Carlsbad and Roswell farmers markets. The farm aims to enhance collaboration with local New Mexico partners to better serve food-insecure areas.  This project is dedicated to increasing capacity of sustainable hog farming through Indigenous MicroOrganism (IMO) technology. This approach, which converts waste into valuable compost using environmentally friendly practices, is part of our commitment to enhancing meat production and minimizing ecological impact. The entire process culminates with the meat being processed at a USDA-approved facility.  Future endeavors include participating in the NM Grown Program, broadening market access, launching a web-based storefront with delivery options, offering specialized meat boxes compatible with SNAP/DUFB, and organizing farmers markets in conjunction with the local WIC programs.

Production | Ramel Family Farms LLC | Raton, NM

Ramel Family Farms (RFF), located in Raton, NM, is operated by two Iranian-American brothers with over 20 years of combined experience in various fields including startup development, agricultural innovation, organic farming, and sustainable practices. This project will bolster a partnership between RFF and Ogallala Commons (OC) to enhance community food security by increasing production and distribution through the NM Grown Coalition to create robust markets for local produce in northeastern New Mexico.

FY 2023 HFFF Awardees

wdt_ID Applicant Category City/Zip EDD District
1 The Kitchen Table Commercial Kitchen Santa Fe 87501 2
2 Magic Cookery Commercial Kitchen Albuquerque 3
3 Toohnii Bianeest Ataas Alliance Farmer or Rancher Co-Op Shiprock 87420 1
4 NM Producers & Marketing Association Farmer or Rancher Co-Op Abiquiu 87510 2
5 Desert Verde Farm Hydroponics/Acquaponics Santa Fe 87508 2
6 Hozho Center Voices of Healing Center Non-profit Crownpoint 87313 1
7 Backyard Farms Processing Las Cruces 88007 5
8 Bidii Baby Foods Processing Gallup 87301 1
9 Ruiz, Mesa DBA La Mesa Organic Farms Processing Dixon 87527 2
10 Full Circle Foods Small Farm-Rancher La Mesa 88044 5
11 Rancho de Mil Piedras Beef Small Farm-Rancher Santa rosa 88435 4
12 JAL Farms Small Farm-Rancher Fort Sumner 88119 6
13 Chavez Farms Small Farm-Rancher Los Lunas 87031 3