HUB Project

The Hub Project seeks to develop facilities at the BBCLT in order to foster and house cottage industries, provide employment, and create economic opportunities for community members. The Hub building is envisioned to have multi-use spaces and functions that will hopefully grow into an important social and commercial community gathering place. It’s a concept as old as the community model itself – a town center for commerce and services. Today we can extend our marketplace by providing a global online platform to market Big Bend products. We plan to offer facilities and services for community members that will allow our town’s many skilled artists, hard workers, and creative entrepreneurs to shine.

One of Big Bend’s Most Popular Ideas and Important Needs is the Common Dream of Having Some Kind of a Café, a Restaurant, and/or a Coffee Shop:

Having a place to gather always helps build community cohesiveness, and the need for a place to dine is often voiced by many in Big Bend.  This will provide healthy nutrition, jobs, an outlet for selling and distributing local food products, and will give Big Bend a more diverse and interactive social scene. When some kind of café is established, there is no doubt it can be financially successful, since Big Bend is so remote and very much in need of an eatery in the growing town. Local fund-raising events where meals are sold at the local school and Community Club are always very popular and well-attended.

One idea is to establish a certified commercial kitchen that can be used to prepare and serve meals as fund-raisers for the BBCLT and other local causes. The kitchen could then also be rented out to local chefs for occasional or weekly breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner events, which might be easier and simpler than starting a full-time restaurant business. With the right chefs and managers, this kind of community kitchen could evolve into a fully functioning café or small restaurant.

Money raised by the Hub project from space rentals and events can be used to support the goals and development of the Hub itself and other BBCLT projects and needs. We plan to eventually create a commercial center that provides a variety of residents with employment and a marketplace for locally-made goods and locally-grown foods. Ideas for potential future components of the Hub include, but are not limited to:

•A restaurant or cafe or “coffee shop”
•A certified commercial kitchen for community rental or events
•An office service center/ package store/ FedEx & UPS drop spot
•An IT Service Center/Online Store/ WIFI hotspot
•An accounting/notary/bookkeeping/taxes/payroll business
•A space for massage, body work, acupuncture, etc.
•A laundromat with ping-pong tables
•Art studios for short or long-term rentals & community classes
•A meeting room for CLT projects & other community groups
•A day-care facility and/or children’s play area
•A performance center/meeting hall/film theater/classroom

Some Ideas for Hub Building Designs:

Shasta County and Big Bend – BBCLT 5F Hub Ideas

January Meeting to form new:Community Resilience Committee
Led by Scott Vermiya


Many of us have watched our little community dwindle slowly into what it is today. Our Post Office is open 2 hrs a day, our school is shut down because there isn’t enough employment or housing to keep families here. We drive 100 miles round trip for any service we require. The Sheriff hates to come down to Big Bend and the thieves and ne’er do wells run wild.

It is time for Big Bend to get a new purpose. Unfortunately, we can’t just get purpose. First we need to develop a plan. Anyone we deal with, be it donors, loaners, the county planners or the school district, will want a feasible plan.

This paper is intended to address some of the problems that face us and suggest remedies. It is not a complete plan but I believe it is a basis for discussion.

Some ideas for how to create revenue for BBCLT and achieve some of the primary intentions of the BBCLT: permaculture education, sustainable agriculture, healthy nutrition, culinary arts and alternative forms of building and social organization, as well as do our best to relieve conditions of poverty, dependence, unemployment, underemployment, and to reduce community tensions:

Local Economic Development Support Ideas:

•Improve zoning designations in downtown Big Bend to allow more MU zoning

•Create various donation letters and start asking for stuff and $

•Hire Hub Manager to oversee new building & uses -start small (Landlord’s Admin)

•Build & Rent out use of Multipurpose Room & Certified Kitchen (includes meal nights)

•Build & Rent out Service Hub space for community (local entrepreneur)

•Hire an effective grant writer and land some awesome grant awards!

•Hire Farm Manager to oversee property and permaculture efforts, manage woofers, co-coordinate volunteer work, DELEGATE!

•Build two single-family residences (house Farm Manager & additional family, as rental)

-Beautiful innovative gateway to BB design, to inspire locals & visitors


•Rent spaces to local entrepreneurs (BBCLT as Landlord)

•Find tenants who can afford rent and are contributing services BB needs.

•Choose tenants on a case-by-case basis, focusing on cottage industries that are local and support the BBCLT intentions listed above)

Possible Services Operating at BBCLT Hub Ideas:

-Local Fresh Agricultural Production & Sales (plants & animals, live & fresh)

-Local Put-Up Food Preservation & Sales (produce & meats, preserved)

-Local Prepared Food Sales (café, restaurant, bakery, brewery, or deli)

-Office Center: Photocopies & Office Supplies, Package Delivery & Sending

-Wifi Internet Connection and IT Support 

-Certified Community Kitchen*

-Multipurpose Room (Meetings, Work Space, Lounge, Events, Dining, etc.)**

-Local Arts, Crafts, Products Gallery with Sales**

-Community Thrift Store

-Community Hardware Store

-Vermiculture and Worm Castings Production

-Hostel beds, showers, restrooms, washers, dryers (to host WWOOFers)**

-Camping with Bath House for WWOOFers*

-Provide Meals for WWOOFers*

-Hostel beds, showers, restrooms, washers, dryers (for Public = Income)




-Could some of these services** potentially be more effectively run/managed by the BBCLT, instead of run by a Tenant or Local Entrepreneur? 

-How many is too many tenants/businesses (avoid a “Strip Mall” type of situation)?


The Proposal

The Goals

Money in vs Money out
School of Ordinary Skills (SOS)


The Hub

The Hub is not intended to employ many people. Indeed there are not that many people in Big Bend that want to be employed. The Hub is designed to provide services with a minimum of employees; in and of itself, it will not provide much stimulus to the local economy. However, by localizing services we can all save money and if we desire we can create personal income. The Hub, in conjunction with the School of Ordinary Skills (SOS) allows us to learn how to create products in our home or shop and sell them on line. Thus, creating the best jobs there are, ones without a boss.


In order to restore a sense of security in our community we need to have a law enforcement presence. If we create a spot for the Sheriffs to land when they get to Big Bend it would help. The community should provide a small office with internet and phone communications. It should be welcoming and secure. There should be adequate surveillance equipment around the entire facility. There will be, no doubt, times when it is needed.

Services and Ideas:

Commercial Kitchen Dinners when feasible
Internet Cafe Bakery
Special events Teach cooking skills Food Truc
Information Technologies Maintain WiFi
Maintain Website Computer Tech. Etc,
Audio-Video Center
Teach Internet Skills
Package Store (Drop for FedEx and UPS) & Provide Packaging for Local Product shipments out
Copy Machine, etc. Bookkeeping
Teach family economics Employment referral list

There are many other possibilities but these particular services seem synergistic and lend themselves to combined operation.

Money In vs Money Out

When we go to town for services, money flows from Big Bend to wherever we go. Not only that, but the cost of fuel has created a real problem for some in our community. When those same services are provided locally we not only save on transit costs but we also support our local people. If some of those services afford us access to a world market for selling goods, we have the opportunity to create personal income. Thus, money in.

The School of Ordinary Skills (SOS)

Of all the potential programs that compliment the Hub, the SOS is probably the most important. It is a program to teach people basic skills, and ways to increase their income. Here are some of the skills that may be taught:

Basic Automotive Welding and fabrication Wood working
Farming Skills
Natural Studies Computer skills Internet Marketing Grant writing
Home Economics

There are many more topics that can be taught at the SOS and if it is set up correctly it can pay for itself. However, the primary goal should be to educate us locals on the skills we need to produce income. In that respect it is a key to the success of the Big Bend economy. Some of the facilities for the SOS are capital intensive and will have to wait for funding, but most of the topics can be addressed at the Hub.

Short Term Housing

At some time in the future we will need short term housing for students of the SOS and other local functions. Therefore, it should be included in any plan submitted to the county. Its location and size should be determined soon.

Long term Housing

Eventually, we will need to decide where we want long term housing so we can petition the county for zoning relief. If we want our town to thrive there must be places for people to live.

Future Topics:

Festivals and Concerts

Cultural Events
Farmers Market
Arts/Crafts Shows
Athletic and Fitness Programs

Final Thoughts

We have an opportunity to revive our community. It may be our last, best chance at creating a functional, economically self reliant environment.

The community benefits are fairly obvious: Economic, Security, Education, Services, etc.

Shasta County benefits from having a stable community that contributes taxes on the new economy. If the county participates we can build a model for other economically challenged communities.

If we create a viable plan we will have allies not adversaries to our cause. Money from grants will become available and people will want to participate. There are people in this community with talent and ideas. What is needed is a venue for them to flourish.

I have allowed ample space on this document for notes and ideas…. Notes

Install charging station. Provide electric vehicle transportation to connect to RABA at the Hill Country Clinic.

Contact for Author: Scott Vermilyea jsvermilyea (at) gmail <dot> com