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Pasco County Cooperative Extension Receives Regional Award

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on May 22, 2023

Partnership with Pasco EDC’s SMARTstart program recognized for Incubator Kitchen

Pasco County Cooperative Extension Receives Regional Award

And the winner is – US!  The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council is recognizing the UF/IFAS Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service and Pasco Economic Development Council’s (Pasco EDC) SMARTstart Entrepreneurship Program as a winner of the 29th Annual Future of the Region Awards for our partnership on the Incubator Kitchen at the One Stop Shop in Dade City.

“It’s an absolute honor to receive this award,” says Extension Director Dr. Whitney Elmore.  “Our goal for the kitchen is to help local businesses launch, grow and contribute to our economy.”

The Incubator Kitchen was created through our partnership with Pasco EDC and SMARTstart, utilizing commercial kitchen equipment donated by  Welbilt, Inc.

SMARTstart is a program supported by Penny for Pasco.  Since the kitchen opening in 2019, 17 incubator members are now operating successful locations or catering businesses throughout the area.

“It has been extremely fulfilling to provide guidance and support to the incubator members and watch as this partnership helped launch 45 new, food-related businesses right here in Pasco County,” says SMARTstart Program Director Dan Mitchell.

To learn more about the Incubator Kitchen, visit:

The Future of the Region Awards recognizes projects and programs that exemplify regionalism and recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions benefiting the Tampa Bay community. To learn more, visit: Future of the Region Awards – TBRPC.



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