By Zoe Seiler, contributor
Decatur, GA – Discovering an appropriate workspace is a problem for Atlanta-area microbusinesses that work with meals grade tools.
Stan Sugarman and his enterprise associate, Krystal Rodriguez, opened Leaven Kitchen as a collective kitchen to offer a piece house for small companies, particularly minority entrepreneurs.
“As a microbusiness, you have been having to construct your personal house out, proper, and so it was an enormous impediment to success. Our thought is to take away a kind of obstacles and by placing it on an hourly [schedule], the place you program it your self, it permits the companies one much less factor that’d be a hurdle for his or her success,” Sugarman mentioned.
Members of Leaven can hire a kitchen station by the hour to create their merchandise. There are seven predominant stations within the kitchen that every have no less than one oven and two prep tables. In addition they have specialty tools like a dough sheeter, popsicle maker and a 60-gallon beverage tank.
Enterprise house owners may hire space for storing and might order provides by way of Leaven. Every part is offered to meals producers together with small kitchen wares and bigger tools like a flooring mixer for dough.
“You must be actually large to outgrow us. You may have a whole lot of hours, there’s a whole lot of tools right here, there’s a whole lot of storage. When you all the time wish to function a enterprise that’s on the smaller dimension the place it’s mother and pop, you don’t have to fret about hire or overhead, utilities, all that. That’s all taken care of, the annual licensing, all that. All you need to do is sustain your license,” Sugarman mentioned.
Leaven Kitchen supplies the ServSafe coaching for members who don’t have that certification and assist with Division of Agriculture licensing.
Leaven additionally helps their purchasers distribute their product by way of a partnership with Zifty.
The constructing features a communal workplace house, a classroom house and storage areas.
The collective kitchen presently has 37 small companies, 36 of that are owned by girls and a majority are girls of shade. Sugarman mentioned he and Rodriguez oriented Leaven towards girls.
“We’re a Division of Agriculture licensed kitchen that’s conscious about the boundaries in place for meals companies, particularly relating to minority entrepreneurs,” the Leaven website says. “Though there are a whole bunch of companies searching for a kitchen house, we’re dedicated to serving communities of shade, particularly Black and Brown communities, and much more particularly the femmes and LGBTQIA+ in these communities, which have been systematically shut out of alternatives of possession in Atlanta’s thriving meals tradition.”
Kemiko Lawrence has been at Leaven Kitchen for a few months. She owns Kemboocha and makes her personal kombucha.
The mom of 5 has been making the fermented tea for about 13 years however has operated her enterprise for about two years.
She started making kombucha for her youngsters as she has all the time appeared for issues which have a wholesome attraction. When she found the beverage, kombucha wasn’t well-liked and was costly.
“So I mentioned, ‘effectively, I could make this kombucha. I’ll simply learn to make it’ and since when you’ve gotten a number of youngsters it’s simpler to make it and provides it to them than to simply purchase it on a regular basis,” Lawrence mentioned.
“I used to make kombucha and share it with pals and provides it away as items. I feel as a result of I’ve had a lot time on my facet when it comes to actually perfecting how I make my kombucha the flavour profile, individuals simply like it. Folks have been actually paying me to make kombucha for them and it simply type of organically grew right into a enterprise,” she added.
Earlier than coming to Leaven, Lawrence rented out house in a restaurant and made her kombucha in pots and smaller tools.
“It’s a bit of little bit of a drive however it’s price it for my part as a result of we’re in knowledgeable house and we’re proper now working by way of the method of the Division of Agriculture licensing,” Lawrence mentioned.
Kemboocha is now offered at a number of areas together with Sevenanda, Hodgepodge Espresso, The Vine Cafe and Market, Buzz Espresso and Winehouse and some boutique health areas.
“We’ve had quite a lot of success in a whole lot of the smaller markets just because we have now a high quality product, however we all know that to ensure that us to take it to a different degree we have now to be someplace like this,” she added.
Her aim for 2021 is to promote Kemboocha at bigger retailers like Complete Meals.
“It’s an actual blessing to be right here and I’m enthusiastic about what the brand new yr’s going to convey,” Lawrence mentioned. “I do know that our presence right here goes to be the rationale why we get into Complete Meals and a few of the different main markets which might be out right here.”
Leaven Kitchen is positioned at 215 Laredo Drive, Suite 100, in Decatur, and is open 24 hours. Leaven is about to open one other location in 2022 that can be Division of Well being licensed and can be targeted on caterers, supply and meals vehicles.
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