Project Plume: Building a Community Kitchen from Scratch project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
$1,021 pledged of $22,500 goal
By Melissa Turkington
$1,021 pledged of $22,500 goal

Recent updates


16b24a577890e9f08198cab6a6d6adf5 original
7cd7c6c510c354add4ac51746f44ab50 original
Adccae8fa3d285b6fe4b59e4623deb57 original
Dd2ec6de31e0740c4718beea1e7dc1d0 original

final update

Thank everyone who has supported this phase of the project.  Unfortunately, I did not reach my funding goal in time, so there won't be any swag bags coming your way.  I would still like to write all of my backers a thank you note, however, so please message me your mailing address if you would like to receive a card.  (I won't use your address for anything else.  Scout's honor.)

As promised, I am including information about the next phase of the project, in case you would like to continue tracking my progress.  The website isn't quite done yet, but I've taken a few screenshots of the work in progress.  When the site is finished (likely within the next week), the url will be:  I will also include a blog on the site where I will continue to post updates on the project.  You can click the 'RSS feed' button to have those updates delivered straight to your email.

home screen
home screen
part of our story
part of our story
our guiding values
our guiding values

Thanks once again, y'all!  Slowly, but surely, it's all coming together.


p.s. If you come across resources that you think would benefit this project in the future, please email them to me at

Where we're at, and where we're going from here:

Hello all,

Time for another update, I suppose.  Once again, thank you to everyone who has made an investment in this project, monetary and otherwise.  As you may have noticed, our pledges have stalled a bit.  This is partially because I have made peace with the fact that this round on Kickstarter isn't going to succeed.  I have had to pull some resources in order to keep the greater project going, and unfortunately this was one of them.  However, that doesn't mean that the project is failing.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Let me tell you a little bit about what I've been up to behind the scenes.

As is often the case, but rarely documented, the process of going through Kickstarter has given this project some extra attention, which has led to some great leads for future partnerships, funding, etc.  The humble little community kitchen project that I was planning has now started to grow into something bigger.  I am now in the process of working on some grant applications that will fund a good portion of the project.  I have also begun talks with other kitchen incubator-esque project creators from around the country to see what their process has been like, and to see if we can make some partnerships happen.  (I get to talk to Iso Rabins of Forage SF and Underground Market fame next week, which is the coolest thing ever.  I am also writing a proposal to be a stop on the Millennial Trains Project.  If you don't know about either of these things, I encourage you to look them up.)  

On the home front, I am surveying local farmers and producers about their ideas for the kitchen space, and making contacts with some other folks who have attempted a similar project in the past.  I am also renaming the project, expanding from a sole proprietorship to an LLC, and creating a website so people can track our progress. (I plan to have a link ready for you in my final update.)  Ideally, local food producers will latch onto this project, and it will become a more collaborative effort.  Needless to say, this has become a bigger and better deal than I ever expected.  I also learned a lot about the process of launching a Kickstarter campaign and will have a lot more structure in place on the next attempt.  

For more information about my reasons for starting this project, and about the importance of supporting local food, check out this study by Sustainable America. How many food hubs do you see there?

Here's where we are today

For those of you who need proof, here's a link to my article on GOOD.  Apparently it's a popular topic, because it has started trending.

I also got a call from the local newspaper today about running a story next week.  We may be cutting it down to the wire, but we still might fund this thing after all!  

Plus, here's a little infographic inspiration for those of you who have considered eating seasonally, but aren't sure how.  It's not entirely accurate, depending on where you live, but it's a start!

Thank you to everyone who has backed this project!


Why You Should Stop Telling Millennials to Get a 'Real' Job

I wrote this article for the site GOOD, and for my Alumni blog at The Evergreen State College.  It is about my motivation for starting this project.  As my fabulous backers, you get first access to it:

Why You Should Stop Telling Millennials to Get a 'Real' Job

I spent years denying my Millennial status. Even as I type this, it feels like an apology. Maybe this is because the only words that seemed to be associated with my generation for a long while were negative—“spoiled”, “entitled”, “lazy”, “co-dependent”, “naïve”—and my spoiled, naïve self couldn’t take the criticism. Maybe it’s because the generational cut-off technically started in 1982, so the first Millennials were appearing while I was in utero. Maybe, MAYBE I’m really a Gen-Xer trapped in a Millennial’s body. 

 The ugly truth is, after countless hours studying, advising, and otherwise engaging with Millennial-kind as a college administrator, I have come to realize that I do have a lot of Millennial qualities—and that’s okay. I am one of those unfortunate 45% of Millennials who went out and got myself over-educated, only to end up living in my parents’ basement (Gallup, 2013; Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2013). I spent a year unemployed, and am still technically underemployed, because I couldn’t find a job in my field. Okay, maybe if I had been willing to move across the country to find an entry-level job, I could have...but I’m a Millennial! That doesn’t make me irresponsible; that makes me unwilling to settle. 

Our generation spent our entire childhoods listening to our elders tout the benefits of achieving “more”: making more money, buying more things, and gaining more education. On the same token, we heard how unhappy they were in their dead-end jobs, how money doesn’t buy happiness, about how we will be acquiring the debt of our parents--and our parents’ parents--because those generations went and spent themselves into a financial crisis. To us, “do as I say, not as I do” just doesn’t add up. 

 Yes, the Millennials are the most over-educated, underemployed set of folks to enter the workforce in 40 years (Pew Research, 2010). We are also the most idealistic, socially engaged, collaborative, and holistic-minded (Pew Research, 2010). That means that we have a very different view of the world and how it should work. We think our jobs should mean something, not just provide a steady paycheck (although those are still nice). Our “helicopter parents” spent our childhoods teaching us collaboration over competition, which may make us pretty bad at sports, but also makes us civic-minded and socially conscious. We think of our communities as extensions of our own families, and it is our responsibility to protect them. 

Take this chart, for example: 

The first thing I notice is that Justin Bieber probably took this survey and threw off the results. The second thing I notice is that having money, status, etc., is nowhere near as important to us as our personal relationships. We want our nuclear families, and extended families, to be happy and whole. (Did you hear that, mom and dad? I am sleeping on your couch because I want to be closer to you. ) 

This brings me to my main point: we don’t want your jobs. We don’t even want your economic system. It doesn’t work for us. Thank you, but we are going to invent our own. Our companies will be socially impactful, personally gratifying, environmentally sustainable and profitable (we did go to business school, remember?). We see ways of changing traditional careers so that they can support the community while supporting us. There are already seedlings being planted: Forage Kitchen, Kickstarter, Millennial Trains Project, Terracycle, and GOOD are all examples of where we’re going. These companies, all started or heavily staffed by Millennials, show us that businesses can make an impact and still make a profit. 

We are idealistic and we are capable. We are willing to take risks because that’s what it takes to make change. We will not go out and get a ‘real’ job because, frankly, the ‘real’ jobs don’t exist yet. But don’t worry; we’re on it. More and more of us are creating innovative solutions for the world’s problems while doing what we love to do. We are finding links between trash and green energy; we are solving childhood hunger and planting gardens; we are supplying our neighborhoods with jobs and cupcakes at the same time. Does that sound lazy or selfish to you? 

I am extending my business, Plume Bake Shop, into a community kitchen in order to reconcile my passion for baking with my community’s need for employment and a more sustainable food system. To learn more about this project, please visit: