The commercial community kitchen encouraging would-be chefs
A commercial kitchen has opened its doors to encourage entrepreneurs to grow their own food businesses.
Teton Valley Kitchen in Driggs, Idaho, boasts refrigeration systems, gleaming surfaces, industrial kitchen equipment, ample storage, and facilities to meet the US equivalent of UK grease trap regulations – all paid for as a result of a USDA grant and crowdfunding.
The facility is aimed at encouraging local food entrepreneurs and the kitchen can be used for a range of tasks, including canning, brewing and bread-making. The space can give owners of small businesses the chance to increase production and begin selling their products via retail outlets.
Just as companies such as http://www.ukgreasetrapsdirect.co.uk/ can help British businesses, the kitchen and its manager, Martha Pundsack, aims to help company owners by giving them space and advice to create viable plans for their businesses.
Applicants must undergo some certification and licensing to use the facilities; however, Pundsack claims that this is ‘very straightforward’ and ‘fairly painless’.
The kitchen is part of a wider Teton Food and Farm Coalition initiative that aims to integrate all areas of food disposal, consumption and production in the community. There are even plans to start a virtual farmers’ market.
In addition to being a culinary incubator, the Teton Valley Kitchen offers communal space to be used for gatherings, training, classes and meetings, with local businesses and organisations already making use of the facilities.
Rental of the space is aimed at being affordable and is charged by the hour, according to the time of day. Kitchen space costs between $15 and $17 (£12 and £13.50) per hour, while classroom space costs $10 an hour. The venue is open to its tenants all day and night.
There are plans to employ a counter attendant, which will allow space at the front of the venue to be opened up for public use. A wine and beer license has already been approved by the City of Driggs and people will be able to buy products created in the kitchen. Free Wi-Fi is also available.
The kitchen initiative was launched at an opening party on 10 March, when visitors got to inspect the facility, see the potential of the space, and enjoy the first in a series of events. More information about the project can be found at tetonvalleykitchen.com.