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Holyoke Soup Debuts at New Location on Feb. 15

HOLYOKE — After a recent snow cancellation, Holyoke Soup, a community-based, crowd-funding, idea-generating offshoot of SPARK Holyoke, will debut at its new location at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 5:30 p.m.

Holyoke Soup is a dinner celebrating and supporting creative and entrepreneurial projects in Holyoke. For $5, attendees receive soup, salad, and bread while listening to presentations about business, art, urban agriculture, social justice, social programs, education, technology, and much more. Contestants have four minutes each to pitch their ideas, and audience members vote for the pitch they like best. Whoever receives the most votes collects the money from that evening.

The new location of Holyoke Soup represents an increased collaboration between the SPARK entrepreneurship program and Holyoke Community College. The HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, at 164 Race St., opened Jan. 22.

“We’re really excited to be able to work with HCC and utilize its new culinary facility, bringing a new level of excitement to this great community event that always brings a diverse group of people together,” said SPARK Program Manager Tessa Murphy-Romboletti.

Dinner will be prepared and served by students from the culinary-arts programs at HCC and Dean Technical High School. HCC students and faculty will be conducting tours of the new facility, and local entrepreneurs will also be showcasing their businesses and selling their products at pop-up shops featured throughout the evening.

“There is great synergy in SPARK’s endeavor and HCC’s mission, so we are delighted to be able to offer our new Culinary Arts Institute as a resource,” said Jeffrey Hayden, HCC vice president of Business and Community Services. “We can’t wait to see the new opportunities that will certainly emerge from this partnership.”

The event is open to the public for a $5 donation. Anyone interested in attending is asked to register online at bit.ly/2BQ2nwa.

SPARK Holyoke is a program of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Centennial Foundation.

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