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Shared kitchen opening next year in downtown Anderson

Food truck owners, cottage bakers and other up-and-coming food retailers will have a pathway to broaden their business when the City of Anderson opens its shared kitchen space next fall.

In August of this year, the City was awarded $1 million in grants – $500,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission and $500,000 from the USDA Rural Business Development Grant program – for construction of a shared kitchen incubator, licensed commercial space that gives food entrepreneurs a place start and grow a business.

The 2,500-square-foot incubator will be housed at 110 N. Murray Avenue in downtown Anderson in space that adjoins the City’s economic development office. The space will feature two full commercial kitchens, a studio kitchen primarily for baking, and retail space, according to project manager Mary Haley Thompson.

An extension of the City’s economic development strategy, the shared kitchen incubator will be designed to serve area agribusinesses, chefs, caterers, food truck owners, bakers, farmers, packaged food and beverage makers, and value-added producers.

“We sought community input on this project and found about 20 food entrepreneurs that expressed an immediate need for this type of space,” Thompson said. “Currently, they are having to travel to Greenville.”

In addition to commercial kitchens, users will have access to food packaging and storage facilities, business education classes, workforce development programs and the opportunity for retail sales. The concept of a shared kitchen and business incubator operating in tandem is the first of its kind in the Upstate, Thompson said.

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Design of the shared kitchen is being finalized, with the bidding process for construction taking place in January and February, Thompson said. Build out of the space is expected to begin in May or June. A grand opening is anticipated in late summer or early fall of 2021.

For information, contact Mary Haley Thompson at mthompson@cityofandersonsc.com.

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