Main Impact Area
By supporting us and using our services, you invest in creating sustainable jobs in Columbus.
Our mission is to create jobs, start or expand food based businesses and collaborate with other businesses to provide opportunities for independent, sustainable and profitable food initiatives. Our focus is helping small food based business owners.
Our Social Impact
ECDI’s Food Fort Commissary Kitchen provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to work in an affordable commercial kitchen with one-on-one business coaching from food-industry experts. The Food Fort helps chefs, bakers, and brewers start or develop their own businesses, providing them with a supportive environment on their journey to opening their own successful restaurants, food trucks, or catering business. Every entrepreneur that we help, either through loans, business coaching, or providing them with a place to cook, is provided with the tools and resources that they need to step into the economic mainstream and bring their employees with them. ECDI measures the social impact of the Food Fort through the businesses we help start, the lending we provide to those who were turned away by banks, and the jobs that are created and filled by low-income Central Ohio residents.
Since 2011, Food Fort has helped accelerate the Columbus Food Truck movement and assisted more than 340 clients in starting or growing their own food-based business. This has led to the creation of more than 565 jobs in central Ohio. Through ECDI’s lending activities, nearly $3 million has been deployed to food-based businesses in Central Ohio.
Business to Business (B2B)
Business to Consumer (B2C)