Healdsburg's Shed, scheduled to open in March after almost a year of construction, will offer a cafe, marketplace and events center, all under one roof.
To get an idea of its scope, imagine retail icon Williams-Sonoma rubbing shoulders with the Chez Panisse Cafe, while Smith & Hawken digs into the compost pile with Dean & DeLuca.
"Doug and I wanted to do a project that illustrated the beauty and aliveness of producing food ... growing, preparing and enjoying it," said Cindy Daniel, who is building the 9,800-square-foot building on North Street with her husband, Doug Lipton.
The couple has been living in the Dry Creek Valley since 1994, where they raised two sons and planted a 15-acre, biodynamic farm with fruit trees and vegetables, grapes and olives.
"We see Shed as a way to celebrate the land and the people who grow things," said Lipton, who will oversee Shed's on-site composting program. "The workshops and events will let us connect to the community."
Made of recycled steel panels, the building was designed by Jensen Architects and constructed by Oliver and Company. It gives a nod to Healdsburg's agricultural past while looking ahead, with its clean lines, to a modern future.
But under its sleek glass and recycled-steel exterior, Shed's heart beats with the spirit of an old-fashioned grange hall, where farmers and enthusiasts alike can gather for Sunday suppers, environmental films and workshops.
"Education is a huge part of our mission," Daniel said. "We'll have classes that focus on farming or cooking, like how to taste olive oils or raise backyard chickens."
Standing outside the two-story building on a chilly winter afternoon, the couple described their vision, starting at the front door.
"At street level, we want it to be lively," Daniel said, pointing to the North Street entrance. "There will be an outdoor sink for flowers, and work tables right in front. There will be a big, long table for dining, and a tiny shed for plant sales."