Hey fellow makers, growers, and builders of things! I'm trying to gauge interest in the creation of a co-operative commercial kitchen in Baltimore City.
I'd like to set up a meeting on Sunday, April 19th, maybe around brunch time, to discuss ideas for this kind of a space. (Possibly at my apartment, but it's a very tiny space, so it depends on the turnout!) Please feel free to spread the word if you know someone who might be interested in this project.
There are a few great reasons for starting a commercial kitchen space in the city.
1. Purchasing local produce is awesome, but much of that produce is only available for a limited time. With a commercial kitchen, there would be a central location to pickle, can, and freeze large amounts of food purchased from the Farmer's Market, CSAs, or our own gardens. Sharing knowledge and equipment is much cheaper than doing it individually!
2. There are many Baltimore residents who do not have the knowledge or time to purchase, can, cook, or preserve this produce. I'm thinking we could use the co-op kitchen to sell our local, homemade food at low cost to many Baltimore residents who don't have access to it.
3. I know there are a lot of vegan bakers, canners, bread-makers, and other entrepreneurs out there who want to cook and sell their food on a small scale. Many of them run into the problem of not having a commercially certified kitchen to use. This project would be a great space for stay-at-home moms, the elderly, or people who just plain want to cook on their own for a living to have a way to start their own small scale business. Yay, local economy and personal economic freedom!
It would also be great to host workshops for church groups, school field trips, etc. to teach people about healthy eating and cooking habits. And depending on the space where the kitchen is eventually located, I would love to have a space for workshops for teaching people how to live sustainably in the city, with workshop series on everything from worm bin composting to crafting/homeskills workshops. But for now, the kitchen is the first focus!
So, thoughts? Anyone have experience in a similar project? Email me to RSVP for April 19th, and I'll send out another email closer to the date to confirm.
Apologies for the long email!