Most of us know what a makerspace is.
For those who don’t, a makerspace is the local place people can go to get access to tools/expertise/collaboration to make things.
One of the big benefits of a makerspace is that it makes it easier for local inventors/tinkerers to build something that they can sell (often online). Some of these products will become successful, and not only will that bring wealth into the community, it will serve as an example to other prospective creatives to do the same.
Given that creativity (innovation) comes in many forms, a makerspace is only one of the potential “spaces” possible.
For food creatives, working on ideas for new meals, desserts, baby food, etc., a kitchenspace is needed.
First, a kitchenspace offers a commercial kitchen. That means it offers high end equipment (pic from the Boston area’s Kitchen Local)
and the space to use it.
A commercial kitchen also adheres to government regulations regarding cleanliness and safety. This is important. While many states/countries allow a “cottage food industry,” which allows food entrepreneurs to use their home kitchen to prepare food they sell, all are restrictive in scale (the amount you can sell) and the types of food you can sell. A kitchenspace provides a way to get to the next level.
Secondly, a kitchenspace allows individuals to rent space (dues or by the hour). This makes different that the standard community kitchen. A community kitchen is usually tied to an institution (food bank, church, etc.), and are often already in heavy use.
Thirdly, and this is going to expand in scope and variety, a kitchenspace offers services. From basic education on cooking and eating (both are needed since we’ve lost most of the skills/common sense required to do both well), to the more complex.
One example of an advanced service are incubator services. Here’s an example. In Austin, there is a kitchenspace (named the The Kitchen Space) run by Azim Nagree and his wife Soraiya (see below). Azim provides a class on starting a food business and provides expert coaching to customers on a wide variety of food business topics.
Another innovation is a kitchenspace with an attached retail space that sells the products produced by innovators in the kitchen. At the Taste of Long Island (picture) in New York City, a budding food entrepreneur can rent access to a commercial kitchen and space in the adjacent retail space.
That’s just a little bit of what’s possible. There’s so much more to do.
PS: While community “capital” is a necessary component to resilience, it’s not the key. The production of goods, services, and more at the local level is the key to long term resilience (regardless of the disruption). It alone provides the tangible community capital, skills, wealth, infrastructure, and resources to bounce back from anything. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
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