CookSpring Shared Kitchen, located at The Summit campus at 1025 West Rudisill Boulevard in Fort Wayne, has recently doubled the size of its kitchen to support member growth. Established in 2015, CookSpring currently serves 24 culinary entrepreneurs, including caterers, food trucks, and pastry chefs, among others, and is the only one of its kind in Fort Wayne. CookSpring’s expansion was made possible by an investment from Ambassador Enterprises, the parent company of The Summit.
New space that once served as a student serving line has been renovated and adds an additional 2,400 square feet to the kitchen’s existing 2,400 square-foot space. New equipment installed includes a six-burner range, a 24-inch griddle, prep tables, a new conventional oven, as well as a new convection oven. CookSpring also added a mobile warming unit for caterers, a new vacuum sealing machine, and additional storage options.
OPEN HOUSE IS JUNE 10
To show off the new space and equipment, the newly-expanded kitchen will be open to the public on Saturday, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CookSpring staff will be on hand to conduct tours, answer questions, and provide guidance on starting a culinary business. Pastries from Hetty Arts Pastry and hot dogs from The Hot Dog Boyz will be available for the first 50 guests.
Since its inception two years ago, CookSpring has been helping culinary entrepreneurs build their businesses without them incurring massive upfront costs, according to Spencer Mize, Director of Strategic Initiatives for The Summit. “With this expansion, we plan to help even more members grow and graduate into the community. As more entrepreneurs follow in the footsteps of current and former CookSpring members, Fort Wayne will continue to become an even greater place to live, work, and play,” he said.
Some of CookSpring’s past and current members include Affiné Foods, the parent company of Junk Ditch Brewing and GK Baked Goods; the Ragin’ Cajun food truck; and Hetty Arts Pastry. Additionally, CookSpring works with a variety of local organizations including Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL), Big Brothers Big Sisters, Pink Leaf, and Inspired Nutrition to host nutrition and cooking classes for the community. These successful organizations are just a few of the more than 30 culinary-related firms that have benefited from using the CookSpring Shared Kitchen.
Most members pay a monthly membership fee and can choose storage and usage options that best fit their needs. The kitchen also is available for hourly rental for companies and individuals that just occasionally need commercial kitchen space to work out of.
CookSpring is a partnering agency of the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center, providing a convenient alternative for culinary entrepreneurs in need of commercial kitchen space that fulfills Department of Health requirements. Those wanting to take advantage of this partnership should contact either organization to get started.