The Good River Collective will offer a hub for Metro East food businesses this fall

The Good River Collective, a new commissary kitchen providing services to food trucks, market vendors, caterers and other food businesses operating on the east side of the Mississippi, will open in Wood River, Illinois, in the fall of 2022. The space will be operated by Matt and Amy Herren, who will open C and B Boiled Bagels in the same building, at 11 W. Ferguson Ave. in downtown Wood River. 

The Herrens are partnering with Tom and Vickie Maxwell to launch Good River Collective. The Maxwells own Liberty Blueberry Farms in Farmington, Missouri, and Fitness and Fun in Bethalto, Illinois. Tom Maxwell, also the head of Wood River’s Economic Development Committee, offered to purchase the 4,000-square-foot building that will house The Good River Collective if the Herrens agreed to operate the space.  

Originally, the Herrens were simply looking for a location for their proposed bagel concept, C and B Boiled Bagels. However, they didn’t need 4,000 square feet for the bagel shop. As they thought about how they could use the leftover space, they identified an opportunity. “We saw that Edwardsville has now opened up their doors to food trucks, and there's a ton of farmers markets,” Herren said. In spite of that expansion of the market for mobile food vendors, there’s a shortage of year-round facilities in the Metro East region that accommodate the needs of food trucks and market vendors. 

That insight was the spark for The Good River Collective, which will offer a commissary kitchen where food trucks and market vendors can prepare and package food. The space will also offer amenities like grease disposal, dishwashing facilities and garbage collection. In addition to providing food vendors with a stable, year-round base that they can use to grow business and refine their product, The Good River Collective’s status as a certified legal kitchen space will mean clients will also be able to sell to grocery stores and other retailers. 

“For Wood River, if they want to revitalize their downtown, this is a great opportunity for a place where it can be collaborative and you can really be an incubator for more food-based businesses to show their skills,” Herren said. “And then maybe they take over a spot [downtown]. There’s plenty of buildings out there to be had.”

Herren said businesses will be able to rent spaces by the hour and will be able to reserve spots at Good River Collective online. She said the response from businesses has been immediate, with multiple inquiries already received from food trucks and other businesses. 

Amy and Matt Herren are also working on opening 1929 Pizza and Wine at 7 N. Wood River Ave. in Wood River.