28 January 2011

YorKitchen offers opportunity for food entrepreneurs

It's a work in progress, but starting this spring Central Market's
YorKitchen expects to attract aspiring restaurant owners
 interested in learning how to open a business.
 by Caitlyn Meyer

Since the York County Economic Development Plan was adopted by the York County Commissioners in 2009, the York County Economic Development Corp. and the York County Planning Commission have been working closely to implement the 122 strategies outlined in the Action Plan.

One strategy for nurturing rural area economic development in York County was to start a community kitchen project.

The shared kitchen incubator project, known as YorKitchen, is a NutriCore NorthEast Inc. initiative. Construction of YorKitchen began this month and should be finished by late February. The project is supported by a $99,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Enterprise Grant and a $4 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant.

In downtown York’s Central Market, YorKitchen will provide a service unique to the York area. The modern commercial kitchen will be available for rent to food producers and for nutrition educational training. YorKitchen’s developers hope that it stimulates small business growth in the region, and that effort will be supported by entrepreneurial incubator services provided by the Entrepreneurial Support Alliance.

YorKitchen, together with the numerous community organizations that provide assistance to low-income residents, will provide extensive educational programs covering topics of nutrition and healthy food options. The kitchen will also provide workforce training opportunities and opportunities for entrepreneurs to begin their own enterprise at low cost. And it will also host ticketed events such as cooking classes.

The YorKitchen incubator will provide significant benefits to food manufacturing entrepreneurs and agricultural producers. Many food producers do not have the resources to build and equip their own certified facility. This prevents potential businesses from entering the market while others are illegally producing food items in unlicensed home kitchens. A kitchen incubator can help solve these problems by lowering operating costs, including lease payments, overhead and equipment costs for food producers. The kitchen incubator will also meet federal and state laws and regulations.

For more information about YorKitchen, please contact info@yorkitchen.com.

Caitlyn Meyer is the business development coordinator for the York County Economic Development Corp. She coordinates YCEDC activities related to the York County Economic Development Plan, seeks to work with local governments through the Municipal Outreach Program and works on business retention. Caitlyn earned her bachelor’s degree in history from York College of Pennsylvania in 2009 and has been with YCEDC since that time. Caitlyn lives and works in York City. She can be reached at cmeyer@ycedc.org or 717-846-8879, ext. 3053.

1 comment:

Al said...

The kitchen is a great opportunity for anyone that has a great family recipe. You just have to believe and dream a little. Don't pass up this opportunity.