Kindred Kitchen gets food entrepreneurs cooking in North Minneapolis

On the boulevard of burgeoning dreams

On the boulevard of burgeoning dreams

On West Broadway a new business venture is fostering foodie dreams and hope for a revitalized neighborhood.  On November 11 the Kindred Kitchen officially opened as a community resource for people hoping to begin or grow their own food businesses.

The idea for the Kitchen came about over a year ago, when the nonprofit Catalyst Community Partners put together a focus group of North Minneapolis residents to discuss what they wanted to see in their community. The overwhelming answer was a way for them to make their burgeoning food businesses, mostly being run out of their own kitchens, viable career options. They are referred to as the "hidden food entrepreneurs."  With that, a unique idea and space was created.

A commercial kitchen space available for rent without a monthly lease obligation, open cafe area, and conference room space, where classes will begin in February are steeped with the excitement and enthusiasm of a great idea just beginning to take off.  Ever wondered how to take your gourmet ideas to greatness? Kindred Kitchen has the answers right here.

[jump] The kitchen was built with enough space for three tenants to be working in the kitchen at a time, with five prep areas. They are available for use 24/7, with an electronic key card access programmed specifically for each tenant. 

To be able to sign the lease and use the space, an entrepreneur must first have a business license, liability insurance, and food manager certification. This is the part of the process where the giddiness that comes with a great idea can begin to dwindle in the face of practicality. And that's where Terese Hill comes in. Hill is the kitchen operation manager. With a degree in food nutrition and business from St. Catherine's, she is uniquely qualified for her position to assist people in getting their food business inspiration out of their dreams and onto main street. 

As Hill walked us through the gleaming stainless steel work areas and the pristine walk-in coolers, she talked about the hurdles that a start-up food business experience: the paperwork, fees, licenses. She has already walked a few young businesses through the steps and learned through experience what each situation requires. 

Food cookery toys

Food cookery toys

"We have a woman from the Department of Agriculture that has been a wonderful resource.  She will be coming in to teach a class on food labeling." The Kitchen also has a food scientist it found through General Mills to come in and discuss food safety, along with a marketing specialist to help entrepreneurs find their best advertising strategies. "It can be daunting."  

Biweekly kitchen tours are the first step. Walking around the giant range, ovens, tilt skillet, it's hard not to want to just jump right in and get down to business. While it's not that simple, it is doable.

On Monday: How the program works.