We’re very excited at Loop Project HQ to announce that we have received funding to explore the potential of a “kitchen co-operative” in the Llanidloes area.
“What is a kitchen co-op?” I hear you say. Well we aren’t completely sure yet ourselves, hence having received a grant from Glasu’s Community Resilience Fund to do some research on this subject. However we hope it will help existing and new food entrepreneurs to grow their businesses (but not too much – no tesco’s here please) through easy access to kitchen space.
Having started a small bread baking business a couple of years ago, we have seen that there are many barriers to entry to starting a food business in addition to setting up and equipping a kitchen such as insurance, certification, marketing costs and finding retailers. In a rural area it is arguably more difficult and there may be extra regulatory burdens imposed on dwellings in such areas (such as not being on mains water supply).
We think that even if suitable kitchens already exist in a town (school, community centre, church hall, pub), they may not be being used to their full potential for a variety of reasons. So a central point of contact to link all of these may be one solution OR it might be that this doesn’t really work as a model and a new stand-along kitchen would be required.
Our feasibility study will help us find out more by learning about the advantages/disadvantages and processes involved in such a scheme. We then will apply that learning in setting up our own kitchen scheme and help up to 3 other areas in Powys to the same. It’s all very exciting!
In the first part of the study, we will look for existing kitchen models around the UK, look at demand, potential users, potential facilities, compliance issues, management consideration and funding issues. The outcome will tell us how a system might work, how facilities could be coordinated, how well it might work, what levels of support there might be and how items produced could be branded.
We will pull all this information together to produce a guide called “Kitchen Cooperatives: an opportunity for Increasing Resilience” and running an event open to all to launch the guide, have a facilitated discussion and try to identify up to 3 other communities who might be interested in taking the ideas forward. If all goes well, the second part will actually be to set up some of these kitchen cooperatives in Powys in 2013!
We’re really excited and keen to get started. All the paperwork has been signed and we are aiming to have everything finished and an event at the start of November, that means we have 3 months… Best get working then…
If you want to find out more about what we are up to, take a read of this PDF Summary
If you are interested in setting up or expanding a small food based enterprise, or would have kitchen premises you would like to see used more in the community then please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you!
This project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Cyllidwyd y prosiect hwn drwy Gynllun Datblygu Gwledig Cymru 2007-2013 a ariennir gan Lywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru a’r Gronfa Amaethyddol Ewrop ar gyfer Datblygu Gwledig.