First Community Conversation About Shared Commercial Kitchen Space in Yakima

Tonight Dawn Meader McCausland led a conversation to gauge Yakima’s interest in shared commercial kitchen space. Yakima’s Economic Development Manager, Sean Hawkins, was there to express the city’s support for a community kitchen setup, noting that the impact of such an establishment would reach from individual household out into the greater economy.

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Dawn Meader McCausland, Community Development Consultant, gathering input from potential food business owners.

The opportunity might appeal to value-added food entrepreneurs, bakers, food cart operators, confectioners, caterers, canners, etc. If you’ve thought of renting space, now is the time to let Dawn know what you’re looking for and when you might want to use it. She can connect you with folks who are renting out space right now, and guide you toward other resources, too.

Dawn also wants to know whether or not people are interested in a food business incubator, which would provide commercial space and help with startup hurdles like business plans, finance, licensing and law, marketing, and distribution. To get involved, email food@thriveyakimavalley.com.

For examples of existing incubators, check out the Food Innovation Center in Portland, OR, La Cocina in San Francisco, and the small-town example of Burgaw Incubator Kitchen, in Burgaw, NC.

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Debra Whitefoot shared her needs and business ideas with Erin Malland of Thrive Yakima Valley.

To learn more about the growing wave of food incubators that is sweeping the nation, read “Meet the Food Incubators Behind Your Favorite Artisans” (October, 2013). For an example of how a food incubator can be part of a truly innovative approach to urban development, see “Oak Hollow Mall as a Small Business incubator (November, 2013).

Thanks to Thrive Yakima Valley and 901 Pasta for hosting this event. It is inspiring to see the sharing economy bubbling up in Yakima, and even more exciting to dream of how this project might find its way into our own master plan.

Maria

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