Entrepreneurs with food-based business ideas will soon find it easier to test their products when The Commissary on Town Street opens its doors.
This new kitchen incubator will provide a commercial-grade environment for food startups to develop recipes, test products and collaborate with like-minded individuals and mentors.
We spoke recently with owner Kate Djupe to find out more about this new resource. You can read Part One of our interview HERE on Columbus Underground. Part Two of the interview can be found below:
Q: What types of infrastructure/facilities will the commissary provide for food production startups?
A: To start, there will be four commercial kitchen work stations, refrigerators, freezers, dry goods storage, and room to store any equipment, including food trucks and food carts. There is room for a pop-up store front and an event space available for catering, classes, food courts, and parties. These are all things that are awesome and exciting and needed – but what makes The Commissary special is that both the kitchen and event space can be rented together. You can cater your own wedding, host a pop-up restaurant, put on culinary competitions for professionals and amateurs, or teach cooking classes where everyone can do prep work and cook along.
We will have office equipment and wifi and will work with our clients to make connections with the specialists that they might need: accountants, lawyers, graphic designers, etc. One of the hardest parts in starting out is simply making the right connections, and I want this space to facilitate those connections and be a true incubator.
Q: So you see The Commissary acting as a business incubator as a part of its mission?
A: Yes, it’s an important element of the plan! The Commissary allows individuals to start up a business with very little of the upfront costs usually required of food operations. Or, it can allow a business to grow and build up a solid clientele and the financial history needed to move into their own location. We can help existing businesses that are at capacity by renting the space to them when it’s needed. I want to feed the success of those businesses, because their success allows me to do the things I’ve been dreaming about and planning toward for years.
Q: What sort of local business resources have you utilized in your efforts to get The Commissary up and running?
A: I have attended a few workshops by the SBDC and met with the SCORE advisors, but what has really helped me more than anything else has been talking to the owners and operators of the businesses I really admire. I don’t know if this is true other cities, but it seems to me that Columbus is full of successful people really interested in making this town amazing and are willing to help others succeed. Lucky us!
Q: Are there any partnerships or organizations you’re partnering with for different aspects of The Commissary?
A: Not quite yet, but we have several great partnerships in the works for some cooking class series, seasonal events and a few other pretty awesome things once we open. I promise to tell Metropreneur readers first!
(Note: The Commissary on Town Street is actively seeking additional investors. If you’re interested in learning more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org).
More information can be found online soon at www.thecommissaryontown.com.
Rendering (top) of the event space inside the Commissary on Town courtesy of Andy Dehus.