In spring 2017, Purdue Extension hosted three tours to shared-use kitchens in the midwest. The information below is where we went and some photos from the event. Stakeholders traveled with us to learn from successful kitchen operations. We engaged kitchen owners and users in learning and networking. We learned about various kitchen business models, associated social values integral to many of these kitchens, best management practices by commercial kitchens nationwide, and barriers to commercial kitchen feasibility.

The broader impact of our project is to help in establishing connections in local communities that would increase farmers’ profitability and sustainability, and help improve the region’s overall quality of life. We want to ensure that the time and money local farmers invest in kitchens will be valuable and lead to increased profitability. It is very important for us that this work will have a great impact to farmers because most of the shared-based kitchens have primarily focused on food entrepreneurs and gourmet businesses rather than agricultural producers.

A fourth tour will be scheduled for fall/winter 2017-18, with details TBD.

Illinois Trip: Gary, IN – River Forest, IL – Highland Park, IL, March 30, 2017

ArtHouse – Gary, IN – 2,200 sq. ft. urban kitchen housed in a facility that hosts community-building events and includes an art gallery/exhibition space.

ETA’s Commercial Kitchen Rental – Highland Park, IL – 1,400 sq. ft. urban kitchen that provides essential kitchen basics for food entrepreneurs.

Michigan Trip: Fort Wayne, IN – Ann Arbor, MI – Flint, MI, April 11, 2017

CookSpring – Fort Wayne, IN – 2400 sq. ft. urban kitchen located at The Summit, “a shared campus of socially-minded organizations working together to make the community thrive.”

Washtenaw Food Hub – Ann Arbor, MI – Rural food hub that houses a bakery kitchen and a commissary kitchen. A farm market and agricultural education event space are currently being added to the building.

Flint Food Works – Flint, MI – Urban kitchen co-located with the Flint Farmers’ Market, an indoor market facility that operates with 50+ vendors year round.

Kentucky Trip: Indianapolis, IN – Madison, IN – Louisville, KY, April 28, 2017

Indy’s Kitchen – Indianapolis, IN – Urban kitchen equipped for catering and pastry preparation.

Incubator Kitchen Collective — Newport, KY — Kitchen collective that fosters a strong sense of community by hosting public events and connecting renters with local resources.

Chef Space – Louisville, KY – 11,000 sq. ft. kitchen space offering multiple specialized kitchens for hot, cold, and pastry prep.

The broader impact of our project is to help in establishing connections in local communities that would increase farmers’ profitability and sustainability, and help improve the region’s overall quality of life. We want to ensure that the time and money local farmers invest in kitchens will be valuable and lead to increased profitability. It is very important for us that this work will have a great impact to farmers because most of the shared-based kitchens have primarily focused on food entrepreneurs and gourmet businesses rather than agricultural producers.

 

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