I found this Wednesday, December 15, 2010, New York Times Article (page 1) by Fernanda Santos to be inspiring.
Ms. Santos writes about Marisa Angebranndt, once employed by a hedge fund, who rents space in a commercial kitchen to make "whoopie pies" for sale. She adapted her grandmother’s recipie, but made it more modern with butter cream filling.
Similarly, Shefalee Patel now rents space in that same commercial kitchen to make Indian sweets.
Miguel Urrego, uses the kitchen, renting space to make a diverse menu of catered food items.
The kitchen is known as the Entrepreneur’s Space, is on 37th street near Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens, New York.
Aspiring chefs and cooks can rent space by the hour in a commercial kitchen which meets all applicable health and building codes. It is quite large, at 5,000 square feet. Rent is high during the day, at close to $231 for an 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift, but drops to $154 for the 1 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift.
The people using the kitchen sell what they make for a living in a number of different networks. THe Entrepreneur’s Space has no retail outlet – so you cook your food in it and then go out and sell it, or you secure orders and then you cook the food in the Entrepreneur’s Space.
The Entrepreneur’s Space is recognized as a place to combine an interest in food, and an income.
The Entrepreneur’s Space almost closed down last year in late August, but had it closed, it would have displaced some 100 small busineses reports Ms. Santos.
The kitchen was originally started with the Consortium for Worker Education, a union-backed nonprofit group. It was recently extended a lifeline with an infusion of funds from the Queens Economic Development Corporation, plus a number of other city and small group participants.
I was once introduced to a lady who made wedding cakes in a little-used kitchen space that had fallen into disuse when a social club quit using the kitchen space. The cakes were beautiful and she developed quite a little sustainable business in the old kitchen space, paying a small amount of rent.
Many people who are not presently employed have plenty of skills to contribute. I found this article encouraging and interesting, so I mention it for your inspiration.