The ground floor of the old Procter Schoolhouse plans to re-open its doors this spring, offering an updated space for a local bakery/café that will serve as a community hub. The Procter Community Society is undertaking the project with support of a $30,000 grant and additional support from an Impact Investment Fund loan from Columbia Basin Trust.
“There is broad support for reopening the bakery, including nearly 3,000 hours of volunteer time toward the research, planning and fundraising, which shows how integral it is to the entire community,” said Will Nixon, Columbia Basin Trust Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits. “The bakery will have an impact, both socially and economically, and is a key community asset.”
The bakery ran under several owners for about 20 years until it closed in September 2018. As the owner of the building, the Society has been renovating the space to bring it up to current standards and make it more accessible. It is fully equipping it as a modern bakery/café, which it will lease to an experienced bakery operator, and profits from the bakery will be reinvested into the community through the Society.
“This project will positively impact people living in the Harrop-Procter communities who see the bakery as a social gathering place, as well as those from outlying areas who visit the bakery during the spring and summer months,” said Lisa Norris, Society Vice-President. “This will help address issues of social isolation in our remote, rural location, and will create economic diversity by providing a business opportunity, giving jobs to locals and bringing attention and revenue to other local businesses.”
The Society received a grant from the Trust, plus a loan from its Impact Investment Fund. This program supports business opportunities that demonstrate significant positive impacts in communities, such as creating jobs, addressing a community need, helping the environment or supporting arts and culture. Learn more about all the ways the Trust supports communities at ourtrust.org/community and the Impact Investment Fund at ourtrust.org/iif.