[caption id="attachment_66527" align="alignnone" width="595"] Artist rendering of the Healdsburg Shed project near the city's plaza. (image credit: Jensen Architects)[/caption]

Project: Shed

Address: 25 North St., Healdsburg

Owners: Cindy Daniel and Doug Lipton, Healdsburg

Description: Two-story, 9,700-square-foot glass and steel building with a commercial kitchen, 40-seat cafe with wine and coffee bar, 3,500-square-foot store with grain mill and 1,600--3,000 square feet of second-floor events space

Timeframe: started in late 2011, planned completion in January 2013

Design: structure - Jensen Architects, San Francisco; landscaping - Russian Riverkeeper and Lipton Environmental Group, both of Healdsburg

General contractor: Oliver and Company, Richmond

Engineered steel structure supplier: Soule Building Systems, Cotati

Cost: Undisclosed

Financing: Self-funded

HEALDSBURG -- A nearly 10,000-square-foot modern glass-and-steel farm produce store, cafe and meeting center two blocks northwest of the Healdsburg Plaza is set for completion early next year.

Designed by San Francisco-based Jensen Architects, the two-story Shed project (707-431-7433, healdsburgshed.com) at 25 North St. along Foss Creek is the work of Cindy Daniel and Doug Lipton, who operate a small farm in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley. In 2009 they acquired the former site of Solem’s Appliance & Service, which closed that year, and spent the next two years planning the business.

[caption id="attachment_66528" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Cindy Daniel and Doug Lipton[/caption]

With a general manager and culinary director in place and the building set for completion in January, Shed is moving toward a planned opening in February. The facility uses recycled steel and highly insulated wall and roof panels in the pre-engineered metal structure sourced through Soule Building Systems of Cotati, photovoltaic panels on the roof and a rain garden bioretention system designed by Russian Riverkeeper, which has been overseeing the Foss Creek riparian restoration.

"We feel like the timing is very good," Ms. Daniel said. "There is a lot of interest in local."

The "locavore" and "localist" movements of shopping at locally owned businesses and for locally produced food -- from the local "foodshed" -- has been growing in popularity in recent years. That has fueled growth of farmers' markets, new Community Supported Agriculture--affiliated farms, expansion of national, regional and independent natural foods stores such as Shelton's Natural Foods Market and its associated produce garden in Healdsburg.

There are also buy-local marketing groups such as Slow Food USA, which has seven North Bay chapters, and Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, whose local cooperatives are Thrive Lake County, Willits Chamber of Commerce and Sonoma County GoLocal. And farmers, food producers and public officials from North Bay counties for the past year have been working on creating the North Coast Regional Food System Network.The vision for Shed is as a "modern grange," providing a place to shop and eat from as well as learn about local agriculture. Ms. Daniel and Mr. Lipton want it to be a place for shoppers interested in buying locally produced beverages such as wine, beer and kombucha; on-site milled flour; and vegetables. The 3,500-square-foot store would also have farming, cooking and gardening tools and supplies not widely available elsewhere in the area. A 40-seat cafe with an outdoor deck would provide a place for tourists and locals to congregate and offer prepared meals for sale.The learning aspect is what the second floor is designed for. It has a 1,600-square-foot meeting room with banquet seating for 80. A wall separating it from a full commercial kitchen could be opened for demonstrations. An 800-square-foot terrace and 600-square-foot front balcony could be opened to the room via rollup glass doors. Rental fees haven't been set, but the plan calls for offering the space to nonprofit groups at reduced to no cost.

The site is across the street from the parking lot that hosts the three-decade-old Healdsburg Farmers' Market. Yet the Shed owners see their concept as complementary to the market rather than competitive. Having been involved with market leadership in years past and having a booth there for HomeFarm as recently as last summer, they hope the market will benefit from frequent visits from Shed shoppers, because the market is open mostly weekly and only half the year -- Saturdays and first Wednesdays of the month from May through November.

To run the Shed, the owners hired as general manager Kenny Rochford, who was general manager of Medlock Ames and opened its Alexander Valley Bar and Store with adjoining tasting room in the valley community of Jimtown two years ago. The culinary director is Niki Ford, whose resume includes a culinary fellowship at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga and six years at California cuisine pioneering restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley.