Memphis Kitchen Co-Op aims to kickstart careers of up-and-coming chefs

Memphis Kitchen Co-Op aims to kickstart careers of up-and-coming chefs
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Supporting your up-and-coming chef is a lot easier in the Memphis area thanks to a center called the Memphis Kitchen Co-op that opened last year.

“When you buy from the Memphis Kitchen Co-Op, you are really supporting a vendor who maybe working just themselves. They may not have any employees or any help, but this is a dream of theirs,” co-owner Molly McCracken said.

McCracken thought of the idea to get aspiring restaurant owners in one 6,500-square foot kitchen.

“We know how much these small food entrepreneurs need spaces like this,” she said. “So we have opened up our kitchen. We have 60 tenants right now and growing. And this allows these small businesses to come in at an affordable rate to get started to kind of pursue their dream of having whatever business they want.”

Chefs can rent the kitchen by the hour. The rental includes kitchen equipment already there and available to them.

Memphis Kitchen Co-Op is open 24 hours, allowing the chefs to meal prep at times most convenient to them.

The owners say the collaborative space allows the chefs who specialize in different cuisines to achieve the same goals.

“That’s what we really wanted to build with this,” McCracken said, “...a massive community atmosphere where people can talk to each other, get advice, and just help each other along the way--not necessarily make the same mistakes.”

And the collaboration goes further than just advice.

“We may have caterers where desserts are not their specialty or they don’t want to mess with dessert, so they might get with one of our dessert vendors so they can put their product with whatever meal presentation they’re doing,” McCracken said.

The Memphis Kitchen Co-Op is located in Cordova on Fischer Steel Road. There is also a marketplace inside the center where the tenants can place their food items on shelf to be bought.

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