Our History

Our History

CLiCK began in 2009 after local residents and members of the Willimantic Food Co-op discussed the idea of a shared processing kitchen and ways to better serve farmers in the Windham area. The initial impetus for CLiCK was to provide local farmers a place to process their goods and add value to their raw materials.

If local farmers can turn tomatoes marked as seconds into salsa, then this adds greatly to their initial investment, while also reducing the carbon footprint of that salsa by having it processed locally. CLiCK’s funding began with a pilot grant from the Access Community Action Agency as part of their poverty reduction program.

As a result, CLiCK expanded its vision to include addressing issues of poverty through educational programming centered around food. In 2018, CLiCK hired an Education Coordinator to develop this programming. Classes and events are aimed at underserved populations including low-income seniors, children and youth, new parents, those with a food related illness (obesity, diabetes, celiac, high cholesterol, etc), and anyone else who seeks to improve their nutritional and/or culinary knowledge.

After a few years of experience to learn from, CLiCK’s mission has expanded to include serving the needs of small entrepreneur chefs and bakers, who can rent CLiCK’s commercially licensed kitchen space in order to sell their products legally and grow their businesses. Additionally, CLiCK regularly holds ServSafe classes for culinary entrepreneurs, certifying them in safe and sanitary practices.

CLiCK became incorporated in 2011 and purchased its current building at 41 Club Road in 2014. Since then, CLiCK has completely redone the building to include two commercial kitchens, lots of culinary and processing equipment, storage space, and a teaching kitchen and classroom space. These many improvements have been generously funded over the years by the following grants, foundations, and community partners:

  • Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF)
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • Connecticut Department of Agriculture
  • The Jeffery P. Ossen Foundation
  • The Windham Welfare Fund
  • The Town of Windham
  • Savings Bank of Manchester
  • The Willimantic Food Co-Op

We have also been generously funded by many community members. CLiCK continues to rely on the support of grants, foundations, and community partners to achieve our important mission.

CLiCK’s Grounds
In 2014 CLiCK planted a 33 tree orchard and 10 blueberry bushes, all donated by Prides Corner. We have put in wood chip paths and invite the community to come and see the apples, peaches, plums, and cherries grown! We also have a large community garden space that provides organic herbs and vegetables to CLiCK members, as well an educational space. We have two beehives and have built a meditative labyrinth behind the building for those seeking a peaceful place to contemplate.


Food Coop Idea for Commercial Kitchen


Initial IDEA meeting, applied for Access Poverty Reduction Grant


Certificate of Incorporation


Non-Profit Status Granted


Purchased Building


Commercial kitchens ready for business, Grand Opening, first member businesses join, orchard planted, work on teaching kitchen begins


Teaching Kitchen completed (improvements ongoing), classes start, community gardens planted


Expansion of business amenities like storage and equipment, development of summer programs


Currently 37 member businesses, new technology in Teaching Kitchen, construction underway for family-friendly bathroom, hoping to further increase capacity/programming in the future