John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse fame knows a lot about how to build a successful restaurant chain. What started as a small, single Texas-style BBQ joint in Winter Park, FL, a decade ago, has blossomed into 15 locations over two states, with more on the way. In addition to that success, Rivers has his sights set on the urban chic College Park area of Orlando for what’s to be a 40-acre working farm – and more.
Orlando Weekly recently published an interview with Rivers about the ambitious urban farming endeavor. According to Rivers, the “4 Roots Farm” will supply fresh produce to the local community, house classrooms, greenhouse space, a restaurant, and a discovery center for learning about Florida’s rich agriculture history.
The farm gets to the heart of Rivers’ 4R Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that maintains a focus on supporting and caring for the communities the 4R Restaurant Group serves.
A passage from the 4R Foundation website reads as follows:
“The 4 Roots Campus is being developed in the heart of Orlando to serve as a community crossroads where individuals and organizations can work together to build both short- and long-term solutions for a better food future.”
The $30 million project is estimated to be complete in about five years. Groundbreaking is planned for early 2020. Learn more about the 4 Roots Farm initiative at 4r-foundation.org.