Cooking and catering
Blue Oven Kitchens Inc. provides access to plenty of commercial kitchen space
Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.
If you'd like to become a food caterer but don't have access to a kitchen inspected and certified for commercial use, or if you want to cook lots of food for a special event or teach a cooking class, then you're in luck because the newly established Blue Oven Kitchens Inc. may just fit the bill.
BLUE OVEN WEEKEND
What: Blue Oven Kitchens Inc. “Sneak Peek” and grand opening celebration.
When: “Sneak Peek,” 6-8 p.m. Friday; grand opening, 3-5 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Blue Oven, 1323 S. Main St.
Information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Oven Kitchens, a not-for-profit organization that provides access to inspected, commercial kitchen space, is also available for educational and personal use for such things as cooking classes, cooking for family reunions, making cookies for the holidays, and other food preparation projects.
This weekend, Blue Oven Kitchens will showcase its facility at a "Sneak Peek" to be held in conjunction with Art Walk from 6-8 p.m. Friday and a grand opening celebration from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, both at the facility at 1323 S. Main St.
"This is a chance for the public to take a look at our refurbished and newly opened kitchen incubator facility," said Val Leitner, president of Blue Oven Kitchens Inc. During the "Sneak Peek," visitors will have an opportunity to taste goodies Leitner will be cooking. In addition, there will be a small exhibit of photos depicting produce and farmers markets from North Central Florida, the U.S. and Europe by Stefanie Samara Hamblen, owner of Hogtown HomeGrown and a member of the Blue Oven Kitchens Board of Directors.
Blue Oven Kitchens features 1,000 square feet of space that includes office space, a kitchen with two gas commercial stoves, a walk-in refrigerator, a freezer, dry storage space, a bathroom, and other areas.
Leitner said the base rate to use the facility ranges from $10-$25 per hour, which is determined by what is being done and how much energy/water is being used. Leitner said reductions and discounts depend on the situation or status, such as a low-income, disadvantaged business, not-for-profit organization, an individual not cooking for commercial distribution, and a class instructor. Discounts and reductions may also be available for sharing the facility and for how often the facility is used by an individual or group.
"It's not one-size-fits-all," Leitner said. "I will give you the best price I can." If cooks are planning to use the facility to cook food to sell, Leitner said those interested will need a food manager certificate, liability insurance and a security deposit. Educational and personal users don't need a food manager certificate, but some may require liability insurance and a security deposit.
For more information about the food manager certificate, call 850-245-5520 or visit www.myfloridaeh.com/community/food/foodmanager.
Leitner said Blue Oven Kitchens will also provide community classes in topics that include food safety, how to cook in a commercial space, canning and other topics.
"We will do fundraising and grants to help those people who meet federal guidelines for low-income or disadvantaged business and other non-profits," Leitner said. "We're here to help people and to provide education to the community."
To schedule an appointment to use the kitchen and for more information, email email@example.com. Blue Oven also will be holding a tax-deductible online fundraising campaign through Dec. 21. To donate, visit www.indiegogo.com/blueovenkitchens.
Winter Gift Fair
The 3rd annual Winter Gift Fair, a fundraiser for Blue Oven Kitchens, will feature food and craft artisans from all over North Central Florida. It will be held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday at The Jones B-Side at 203 SW Second Ave. This year's theme is "Think outside the big-box gift box."
"Enjoy an afternoon under the trees as you sip some hot cider and finish your holiday shopping in local style," Leitner said.