Commercial kitchens, culinary incubators, and community kitchens. All of the above. No matter the moniker of choice, these enterprises can make serious impact locally — for the proprietors of the kitchen, the entrepreneurs that find a home there, the local growers that supply ingredients, and everyone involved in the supply and distribution chains, not to mention marketing and more.
A shout-out to two up-and-coming operations, Mess Hall and the Takoma Park / Silver Spring Community Kitchen. Mess Hall is the brainchild of the talented and tenacious Al Goldberg, whose new space is being built after three years of looking for just the right spot. With collaboration as the centerpiece of this kitchen, plus mentorships and access to capital, we can’t help but think that the foods and community produced at Mess Hall will be top notch.
Another stand-out in the field (and for which Food Works Group has consulted) is the Takoma Park / Silver Spring Community Kitchen. Among other things, we love that part of their mission is to provide a venue for the preparation of nourishing food to be distributed at shelters. It was a treat to support this project with everything from reviewing budgets, the business plan, and architect proposals to dreaming up innovative programming.
Kitchens such as these provide local entrepreneurs an opportunity to take a food that they make well and turn it into a viable product that can be sold to restaurants and at stores, farmer markets, and events. Buying locally produced foods from kitchens like these has a ripple effect on the local economy. And the food is oh-so good!