food hub & Community workspace in New Denver, BC, Canada

Press Release Feb.8/24

Behind the construction paper and the window blinds, the Fireweed Hub on Main Street in New Denver has been inching closer to its launch. The interior space is now complete and the commercial kitchen has been installed and certified.

Karin Dodds and Hannah Weisbrich-Collier have been hired and will be sharing the position of facility manager. As board member Morgen Bardati explains, “The combined experience these two women bring to this project is an amazing asset to Fireweed and to our whole community. We are so thrilled to have them both on board.”

Karin has been a well known member of our community since 1998 and she lives in Hills where her family has an established market garden. Her experience with the school community as cook and co-ordinator of the Lucerne School lunch program for several years offers much to the community aspect of Fireweed.

Hannah’s diverse experience with the food and service industry as a professional chef, business owner and entrepreneur brings a wealth of experience to this position. Originally from the Slocan Lake area, Hannah has recently moved back and now also lives in Hills where she has a small hobby farm with her husband.

Unfortunately the required testing of the facility’s ventilation system has been held up by the need for a specialized nozzle which has been back-ordered for some time. This testing needs to be completed prior to the occupancy permit being issued. Fireweed board member Miranda Hughes admitted to wishing for a nozzle for Christmas, but “even Santa couldn’t overcome the supply chain issues.” 

Rehabilitating the old Merkley building, a heritage storefront, and equipping it with a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen has been a massive project for the volunteers who make up the Silverton Cowork Society board and its committees. The project has come to fruition thanks to a major grant from the provincial government’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program, as well as additional support from provincial rural development initiatives and the Slocan Valley Economic Development Partnership. In keeping with the community-building aim of this funding, the vast majority of the funding has been spent locally.

A partnership agreement with the New Denver and Area Housing Society has enabled the installation of some exciting technology in the Fireweed Hub’s flex space seating area, which will make it a highly functional location for in-person, hybrid and online meetings, workshops and other events.

The managers have continued working behind the scenes to create organizational systems and supports for the emerging entrepreneurs and non-profit groups who will be using the facility. Many people have already expressed an interest in using the Fireweed Hub for private events, meetings, pop-up restaurants and cafés, take-out food service, food production, internet-intensive personal work and community social events. Hannah and Karin will be able to start scheduling bookings as soon as the final occupancy permit has been received.

Anyone wanting to be informed about plans for opening events at the Fireweed Hub is encouraged to visit their website ( or follow them on social media.