Rainier Beach Food Innovation District FAQs

Food Innovation District

Food Innovation Districts offer unique opportunities for neighborhoods and regions to build public health and New Economy “placemaking” assets. Food innovation Districts are natural places for retail and restaurant development; farmers markets, festivals and other attractions; and public health outreach and services, such as cooking and nutrition classes or harvest gleaning programs that move farm surpluses to families in need.

Back in 2012, Rainier Beach residents came together around a renewed neighborhood plan with a vision at the center of which Food acted as a catalyst for neighborhood identity, cultural diversity and heritage, health and job creation.

The partners are many and cross-sector. They include residents and local stakeholders (businesses & property owners), non-profit community-based organizations, philanthropists and foundations, local government, as well as food producers and industry professionals.

A Food Hub is a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of food products, primarily from local and regional sources, for the purpose of strengthening producer capacity and access to wholesale, retail and institutional markets.
In Rainier Beach the Food & Farm Hub (5133 S. Director St.) comprises Tilth Alliance, Seattle Farm Coop, JuiceBox, Wow Chocolates and RBAC.

The Rainier Beach Food Innovation District (FID) is a geographic concentration of food-oriented businesses, services, and community activities that local
governments support through planning and economic development initiatives in order to promote a positive business environment, spur regional food system development, and increase access to local food.
Food Innovation Districts connect and catalyze emerging clusters of food and agriculture activity. Benefits include new jobs, healthy food options, and a “sense of place” that regions increasingly need for success in the 21st century.

The Food innovation Center (FIC) is intended as the catalytic venue for the District, featuring vocational training, Food processing, as well as community assets such
gathering hall, community kitchen and childcare.

The FID will focus on Workforce development. It will include culinary arts, but also value-add and manufacturing green jobs. Ultimately, the district will cover the full food system chain with needs for everything from ELS to farming, marketing and distribution, IT and research.

While Planning establishes the community’s vision for its future, Zoning puts the plan into operation. It designates different zoning district for different uses.
Food Innovation Districts will contain a myriad of food-related uses, from restaurants and retail to wholesale activities, light manufacturing, research, residential living, and urban agriculture. The potential mix is broad enough that a community may need to amend existing zoning to allow for the combination of potential district uses to occur in the same area.

The District offers multiple opportunities to be strategic about planning the future of the area. As we bring the concept to implementation, the more land available to
plan with, the easier it is to project the various programing and design the best fit for various activities (aggregation, co-packing, light manufacturing, incubation, education, research, retail, community amenities, etc…).
Contact us to see how your property can participate in the overall vision, and how we can help you anticipate zoning changes to benefit your investment in the community.

Contact us at rbactioncoalition@gmail.com or 206.859.7820, or visit www.rbcoalition.org.

Category: Rainier Beach Farm Stand


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Historically, Rainier Beach has always been a welcoming neighborhood with an emphasis on health and well-being, a place many people have come to call home.

Today, the economic pressure and risk of displacement is greater than ever on Rainier Beach residents. The lack of opportunities is highlighted by disparities across the City and there is a need for more equitable development.


Back in 2012, the Rainier Beach residents came together around a renewed neighborhood plan with a vision at the center of which Food acted as a catalyst for neighborhood identity, cultural diversity and heritage, health and job creation.


The concept of the RB FID clusters manufacturing, technology, and food sectors around the light rail station to provide access to career-path living-wage jobs, strengthening the local economy through production rather than consumption.

In addition, the RB FID will leverage transit to support community stability and economic mobility, improve access to education, employment and entrepreneurship, while maximizing the use of this unique station location at the intersection of the manufacturing / industrial area that extends to South King County, and the residential neighborhood of Rainier Beach. The RB FID is intended to spark catalytic development around the Rainier Beach light rail station.


Local food innovation (growing, production and distribution) is projected to be a top ten growth industry over the next decade. The demand for locally grown and produced food is growing. Jobs are an anti-displacement strategy.

“To grow a thriving cultural community with equitable access to economic opportunity and affordable healthy food.”


Vision for a community culturally relevant market.


Growing fresh organic produce at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands.

Economic Development

Concept for a Food Innovation Center at Rainier Beach light rail station.

Food Innovation District Resource Library

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