Read on to learn how the newest addition to Cincinnati’s food scene works to empower and grow local entrepreneurs through cuisine.
Many know Findlay Market as a staple of Cincinnati’s culture. The local landmark brings the community together through a shared interest in food and fun. A project 20 years in the making, The Charlotte & Edward Unnewehr Findlay Kitchen has the same idea in mind.
Director Marianne Hamilton explains. “Our mission is to build and enable a thriving community of food entrepreneurs, who in turn will be ripe to contribute local food innovation, representative of our dynamic and diverse neighborhoods, and equipped to start, sustain and grow profitable local businesses.”
The Charlotte & Edward Unnewehr Findlay Kitchen is a shared-use, licensed kitchen facility, offering local food entrepreneurs an opportunity to rent one of the 10 kitchens fitted with commercial-grade equipment and ample storage space.
Hamilton continues, “This means being able to use a 60 quart mixer and 16-rack ovens for increasing your production of baked goods…It means making your marinara sauce in 40 gallon batches using our tilting steam kettle so you can spend more time selling your product into local retailers. And it also means you can finally start taking those 200 person catering jobs because you’ll now have the proper equipment and storage space to be able to prep, cook, assemble and deliver your delicious food.”
The Findlay Kitchen is opening with 36 founding members. Hamilton says, “This is almost twice what we had planned, but there were just too many incredible stories, passionate ideas, and delicious foods.” There is also currently a sizable wait list, so potential members are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Not only does Findlay Kitchen offer kitchen supplies and space, but they are also committed to business and entrepreneurial education. Hamilton says, “We are partnering with outside organizations to provide business support services to our Members on topics ranging from marketing and branding to legal and accounting support.”
The organization is also passionate about leveling the entrepreneurial playing field. She continues, “Not unlike the core values of Findlay Market, Findlay Kitchen is a place that we envision will help spur a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are creating an intentional space that is welcoming to all and that seeks out a healthy, diverse mix of people, ethnicities, products and stories. We strive to create a positive social impact in our community through empowerment, partnership and outreach.”
To become a Member, one must submit an application through www.findlaykitchen.org. Hamilton explains, “One must be, or have aspirations of becoming, a food entrepreneur that is passionate about their concept and has a good understanding of the work involved in starting a food business.” From there, an interview is set up to review business plans, enjoy taste tests, and discuss what is needed to start or grow the business. Findlay Kitchen also helps with licensing and regulatory processes and assists with obtaining any additional certifications.
Although Findlay Kitchen’s main priority at this time is to get the ball rolling with their current members, they look forward to community events and partnerships in the upcoming months. Hamilton explains their partnership with ArtWorks and their CO.STARTERS business development program, saying, “We will be hosting the inaugural Kitchen Edition class that is open only to food entrepreneurs and will have a food-focused, 12-week curriculum.”
Looking forward to the summer, Findlay Kitchen will begin incorporating cooking classes and demonstrations, pop-up restaurants, and community and corporate events. They also currently offer Open House Tours every Tuesday at 10 am through April and May which are open to all.
The Charlotte & Edward Unnewehr Findlay Kitchen is made possible by a host of generous community partners including The Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. / U.S. Bank Foundation, and The Allen Berliant and Jennier Rosenthal Berliant Family Fund.
For more information on Findlay Kitchen and their upcoming events, visit www.findlaykitchen.org. Findlay Kitchen is located in the historic Findlay Market District at 1719 Elm Street.