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January 17, 2018

St. Joseph's College calls off partnership with Cate Street-backed company

Courtesy / Saint Joseph's College
Courtesy / Saint Joseph's College
Saint Joseph's College of Maine has launched the Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation, an initiative with both private and public partners to develop the state's food and beverage industries and meet the region's food security goals. With $4 million in funding in hand, the college plans to begin Phase 1 of construction, fhe college's initiative will expand the existing hydroponic farm, where staff members grow a variety of lettuce, hearty greens and herbs, as well as expand land-based farm and agritourism operations.

St. Joseph's College has ended its partnership with Organic Nutrition Inc. to develop a hydroponic greenhouse on the college's Standish campus.

The Bangor Daily News reported the partnership would have given $750,000 to the college. Organic Nutrition Inc. is backed by private equity firm Cate Street Capital, of Portsmouth, N.H., whose 2011 restart of the Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket eventually failed and ended in bankruptcy.

"All parties agreed that it was not a good fit," Peter Nielsen, an entrepreneur-in-residence at St. Joseph's who is leading development of the Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation, told the BDN.

Nielsen told the BDN that the decision won't hinder the institute's broader plans or funding. The college has committed to matching a nearly $2 million award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The hydroponics facility, planned for construction in 2018, is part of the college's Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation. The facility will support a new certificate program at St. Joseph's and provide support to other hydroponics businesses.

Read more

Cate Street Capital to back hydroponic project at St. Joseph's College

Saint Joseph's College launches Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation

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