July 13, 2024


General Line

Sunshine Kitchen co-op in Fort Pierce will help food items entrepreneurs cook dinner

Five times a 7 days, Beverly Francis cooks foods for children in daycare facilities throughout the Treasure Coast. On weekends, she spices things up with a special-functions food truck that serves rooster curry, jalapeno meatballs and other Haitian-Caribbean favorites. 

She’s capable to do it all by obtaining entry to a professionally equipped commercial kitchen, which she rents for $17 an hour. She’s one of about two dozen foodstuff entrepreneurs who share room at the Sunshine Kitchen co-op in St. Lucie County.

 “It would expense us effectively around $200,000 for the condition-of-the-art gear they have available for us,” reported Francis, co-owner of Bee’s Kitchen and Catering with her fiance, Stutson Gary.

That was the thought behind Sunshine Kitchen area, claimed Regina McCants, coordinator for the 10,000-sq.-foot food stuff business incubator owned by St. Lucie County, which is section of the Treasure Coastline Exploration Park off Rock Road west of Fort Pierce. 

Regina McCants, coordinator at the Treasure Coast Research Park's Sunshine Kitchen in St. Lucie County.

Sunshine Kitchen

The kitchen area, which opened in 2018, provides stoves, kitchen area devices this kind of as meat slicers, food items preparation areas, storage house and workplace house for its tenants.

The county paid $109,016 to operate the kitchen area in fiscal year 2020, partly offset by $74,617 in revenue produced from the tenants’ lease payments.                    

The tenants spend a $250 a person-time deposit, then $17 an hour for the scheduled-time use of the facility, McCants stated. With two kitchens accessible, the tenants use a web page to pencil in the time they will need and concur to thoroughly clean up adequately for the team that follows.

The kitchen extra COVID-19 safety measures final calendar year, requiring masks and temperature checks for any individual coming into the facility. 

The thought for the kitchen area was based on business office incubators, where several startup firms share a locale and get useful resource support there, McCants explained. The county took the concept, but used it to the meals business. 

Beverly Francis (left), co-owner of Bee's Kitchen & Catering, along with fiance Stutson Gary prepare meals for local Treasure Coast daycares on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at Sunshine Kitchen, a co-op commercial kitchen in St. Lucie County. The large professionally equipped kitchen allows the couple to work on a larger scale and has allowed them to network with other businesses.

Can they stand the warmth? 

Francis desired to go after her enjoy of cooking and offer licensed catering for weddings and specific events for her fellow Haitian Individuals on the Treasure Coastline. 

“A great deal of people imagine they can cook, but they can occur listed here, examination their solution and see if they can create it to a little something that they can consider out on their own,” McCants mentioned.