Commercially licensed and affordable kitchen space is a great need among Cleveland community members and food businesses. During Mayor Jackson’s first Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit, a community kitchen working group began to conceptualize plans to bring a shared commercial kitchen facility to Cleveland. Ohio City Incorporated became involved due to the high concentration of existing food businesses in the neighborhood and aligned kitchen plans with the Ohio City Fresh Food Collaborative Initiative which includes the Ohio City Farm and Farm Stand. Ohio City Inc. served as the fiscal agent to complete a feasibility study and pre-development process for a kitchen, funded by Neighborhood Progress Incorporated, The George Gund Foundation and Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition and The Ohio State University Extension have worked with community partners like Ohio City Inc. throughout this process in their efforts to create new opportunities for entrepreneurs in the local food economy.
After much collaboration among community partners and input from entrepreneurs seeking kitchen space, we are excited to share what we’ve learned though our research and discuss existing kitchen projects that will continue the cause of increasing access to licensed and affordable kitchen space in Cleveland. Join us for the next Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition forum, “City Kitchens: dreaming up, building out and sharing the spaces that grow our local food entrepreneurs,” on May 21st at 5:30pm in the Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Tasting Room. This event is FREE but registration is required—REGISTER HERE. View the Community Kitchen Incubator page to learn more about the work that has led up to this event or to learn more about developing kitchen projects.