Prep Kitchen CLE 

It’s no secret that the food scene is exploding in the CLE but the growth is not limited to restaurants.  

Starting this March, Prep Kitchen CLE, a culinary incubator, will offer affordable, commercial kitchen space to community members starting their own food business. They’ll occupy about a 2,000 square foot space in The Flats and operate 24/7 to help start ups and entrepreneurs. Sarah Halko, with Prep Kitchen CLE, says there three aspects to our kitchen that will allow them to serve every single community member. 

“Not only are we providing kitchen space for food startups, but we’ll also have a portion dedicated to nonprofits, as well as a chef’s table,” she said. 

Orale has already signed on as a tenant, and they’re pursuing arrangements with a few food trucks and other food startups. 

“Vendors will occupy our space until they feel they’re successful enough to go out on their own,” Halko told me.

Some just have an idea they want to try. Others need additional kitchen space to meet production demands of an already successful product. Their mission is to give occupants continued support and opportunities to help maximize their growth potential. 

How it works: Upon signing up, tenants will choose blocks of times they want to use the kitchen. First come, first serve. Kinda like a good BBQ place.

They’ll dabble in the event business, by renting out their Chef’s Table for small scale events for companies. And they plan to host event nights for potential investors, so that they can try tenants’ products, and provide more opportunities for tenants to share their products with consumers.

The space itself will house two commercial kitchens, the above mentioned chef’s table, a retail section, cold and dry storage, and a small retail space set-up for on site sales.   

“The West Bank is the perfect place for this kitchen, there’s something special about this neighborhood, the history, the industry- and we’re going to maintain that same look and feel inside of the kitchen,” Halko said.

Why launch something like this in CLE now? Halko says it makes perfect sense and it’s perfect timing to capitalize on all the opportunities and tasty ideas being generated. 

“Cleveland has an amazing food scene and we’re bursting at the seems with food startups,” she said.

Prep Kitchen CLE intends to be an integral part of the new Flats, respecting its traditions, and contributing to the neighborhood through efforts like a Refugee Job Training Program. 

Come March, they can have two groups working at a time. Since the kitchen is open 24/7, that makes for six 8 hour shifts per day. Can’t wait to see what they’ll serve up.

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