Food Economy

Providence has a rich food culture.

The desire for healthier, locally sourced, and sustainably processed food continues to drive structural change in the food industry. Greater Providence is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this macro trend due to the City's vibrant food ecosystem. For example, organic food is a high growth market in the United States. Sales have increased at least 10% year-over-year for the last 25 years and this pace is expected to continue. The City's 'New' Food strategy positions Providence squarely in this high growth market focusing on light food manufacturing, distribution, startups, food tech, and urban production. From innovative food companies, to tasty microbreweries and delicious dining Providence is a foodie town.

The urban ‘New’ Food strategy capitalizes on the City’s core competency in food and new opportunities arising out of the deindustrialization of food. In light of this trend, Providence is now a competitive place for moderate size food processing firms to grow. The City offers affordable rents, and water and utility rates. It is within 200 miles of high value producers and markets, and it is home to a talent pool with diverse and applicable skill sets.

Parts of the food system are starting to deindustrialize. For some time, food processing has been located close to large-scale producers. Demand is rising for regionally and locally sourced food with shorter and more transparent supply chains. The model of geographically centralized production and processing is losing favor and market share. The food economy will prove to be an opportunity for Providence.


2016 Food Snapshot

Industry Specific Resources

If your organization is located in Greater Providence, provides technical assistance specifically for food businesses,
and is in good standing with the City and State and you believe it should be listed here please contact us.


Hope & Main is Rhode Island’s first culinary business incubator. We help local entrepreneurs jump-start early-stage food companies and food related businesses by providing low cost, low risk access to shared-use commercial kitchens and other industry-specific technical resources.


Social Enterprise Greenhouse is a network of business and community leaders who contribute time, expertise and money to create jobs and support positive social change through social enterprise.

Legal Food Hub:

Rhode Island is a destination for people from around the world, who travel here to explore our history, sail our waters, and enjoy our beaches. But for us, it’s home – a place CLF has pledged to protect with all the passion and skill we have.



Learn by doing, mastering the craft of culinary arts in JWU’s College of Culinary Arts top-notch labs, under the guidance of expert chef-instructors.


Farm Fresh Rhode Island is growing a local food system that values the environment, health and quality of life of RI farmers and eaters.   Part incubator, part activator, our programs grow the local food system by building capacity in three areas:

Producers → Markets → Eaters