About a half hour west of Concord, New Hampshire, sits the town of Bradford. With around 2,000 residents and lacking a conspicuous commercial corridor, this rural community is not what one would envision as a hub of activity. That didn’t stop a passionate group of friends fresh out of college from imagining how they might build a sense of community around local food there.
They were not alone in their desire to bring people together. In 2015, several eager community members lent the group small plots of land on which they could farm and build a farm stand. Sweet Beet Farm and Farm Stand were born.
In 2016, a small local company bought the Bradford Inn, a 10,000-square-foot building that had sat abandoned for 15 years. The company partnered with the Sweet Beet team to revitalize the space as a hub for the community centered around arts, local business viability, and, of course, food. Together, they slowly transformed part of the space into a year-round local market and café, complete with a commercial kitchen. The market prioritizes selling food grown in New Hampshire, preferably hyper-locally within a 30-mile radius.
The mission of Kearsarge Food Hub (KFH), the nonprofit organization that encompasses the Sweet Beet Farm, Market, and Café, is “to reinvigorate our community within a restorative local food system by cultivating food sovereignty, growing engaged learners, and nurturing community.” To pursue that mission, KFH needed to secure the space in which they operate. When it was time to renew their lease at the beginning of 2022, Kearsarge reached out to the Legal Food Hub.
The Hub placed KFH with Mark Beaudoin of Nixon Peabody. A resident of nearby Hopkinton, Beaudoin agreed to review all their leases at no charge and support KFH teammates in working through rental agreements. The Legal Food Hub, Nixon Peabody, and Beaudoin are all proud to be added to the growing list of community members who have contributed to KFH’s ability to revitalize their small town into a vibrant local food and community hub.