UNITY — A business aimed at expanding access to local food and creating new markets for farmers will open its new headquarters this week in a restored two-room schoolhouse on School Street.

The Unity Food Hub started operations last year, but was working from a temporary location while renovation of the 19th-century schoolhouse was completed.

The concept of a food hub to aggregate, market and distribute food from local farmers isn’t new, said general manager Matt Tremblay in a recent tour of the building.

“Farming is alive and well in Maine, and it has a lot of good products,” Tremblay said. “We want to get it out there.”

The hub is a for-profit subsidiary of the Maine Farmland Trust, a nonprofit organization that preserves working farmland in Maine. The hub buys bulk deliveries from local farmers and sells the products to individual customers and wholesale buyers such as stores and restaurants.

It works with more than 40 farms spread out across central Maine. Producers from Unity and the nearby communities Troy, Freedom and Albion are heavily represented, but the growing list includes Maine Grains in Skowhegan, The Milkhouse in China and Good Morning Farm in Gardiner, along with others from Bowdoinham, Dresden, Newcastle and Rockport.

At the heart of the operation is the storage and distribution center in the basement of the hub building. Farmers bring weekly deliveries, which are stored in three huge commercial food coolers. From there, staff members package the food into deliveries for customers. The hub offers consumer shares of local produce, dairy and meat. Customers can pick up their weekly share in Belfast, Biddeford and Unity. Customers can choose different packages to fit their needs.

Interest in the shares has grown, and Tremblay estimates the hub delivered about 125 shares a month this year. An institutional share, through which employees of businesses can sign up to buy shares and get a weekly box delivered to the workplace, is also offered.

But while the operation has a retail side, the real focus is on the wholesale business, Tremblay said.

Because so much of the local food that markets and restaurants want is grown by small or midscale farms, getting enough from one source to satisfy demand can be a challenge, Tremblay said.

The hub will hold a grand opening from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at 69 School St. It is open to the public from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays.