Cate Street Capital to back hydroponic project at St. Joseph's College


Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth, N.H., is backing a new hydroponics operation called Organic Nutrition Inc., which plans to grow farm-raised fish, and use the fish waste to grow produce.
The Bangor Daily News reported that Cate Street  — which used state and federal incentive programs to deliver $16 million in tax credits that benefited out-of-state investors in its failed effort to resurrect the Great Northern Paper Co. mill in East Millinocket — is backing a Florida-based company that wants to grow farm-raised fish at St. Joseph’s.
The hydroponics facility, planned for construction in 2018, will be on the Standish campus as part of the college’s Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation. The facility will support a new certificate program at St. Joseph’s and provide support to other hydroponics businesses.
BDN reported that the Florida company Organic Nutrition emerged from business partners Ernie Papadoyianis and Xavier “Sal” Cherch’s aquaculture research started in 1996. By 2007, they had restarted an aquaculture facility in Florida City and had trademarked their circular, solid-walled fish farming pen as the “Aqua-Sphere.”
According to a September 2017 release from Saint Joseph's, the Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation involves five enterprises: a food manufacturing incubator, a hydroponic farm, a traditional crop and livestock farm, an agritourism event center and an entrepreneurship development and education program offering certificates in areas such as hydroponic farming, food processing, and food merchandising. It anticipates offering the first competency-based courses and certificate programs in hydroponic food production in the fall of 2018.
The Organic Nutrition hydroponic farm will focus on crops with high demand in New England markets, such as strawberries, but which currently have a heavy carbon footprint when they are sourced from California, Mexico or South America.