The Kitchen Council is a kitchen incubator for food start-ups that helps them grow their products on a larger scale.
Erin Dyer, managing director of Kitchen Council, explains there is currently a lack of commercial kitchen space available for rent in the metro region. “There’s not a lot of help for entrepreneurs within the industry. We want to see more successful activity from small food start-ups, and by providing affordable space and industry-tailored assistance, we can eliminate some of the risk, lower the barriers and grow a supportive community for food entrepreneurs,” she says.
The Kitchen Council, set to open in January 2017, features more than 2,500 square feet of licensed kitchen space. Equipment ranges from large-ticket items (convection ovens, standard ovens, burner ranges, steam jacket kettle and food processors) to smaller wares (sheet trays, pots and pans).
Kitchen Council handles all deep cleaning as well as maintenance so members can focus on their businesses. She says the current facility can hold up to 30 member companies.
“Kitchen Council has different memberships with varying levels of access. Full-time members can use the kitchen anytime. Night and weekend members can access the kitchen from 6pm to 6am and all day on weekends. There’s also an associate membership for those who don’t need kitchen space but still want to receive business assistance and community benefits,” explains Erin.
She says some of the first tenants will include Scratch Baking Co., which makes gourmet donuts, a soul food catering operation and a BBQ food truck with a custom line of sauces.
“And we’re even talking to some area growers looking to use the space to process and preserve extra produce,” Erin says.
Interested parties can reach Erin Dyer by calling 402.346.5000 or by email at EDyer@OmahaChamber.org. Kitchen Council is in Council Bluffs, Iowa, near the Mid-America Center at 50 Arena Way, Suite 11, in the former Famous Dave’s location.
—By Cheril Lee