Final appointment of the day was to take a look at KitchenCru. I’d heard about the facility from Tails and Trotters who use it as a base for their production and who also use the facility for retail sales once a week. The facility is the brain child of Michael Madigan and I was mightily impressed. Taking it to the most basic level, it’s a commercial kitchen that’s available to rent – it’s similar to the facility that I use at Food Centre Wales, just scaled down, minus the white coats, hair nets and bear snoods and with up to a dozen other people sharing the space and producing food elbow to elbow with you.
The site was inspiring, a patisserie chef was working next to a vegan, gluten-free baker next to a sea salt maker. It only opened at the start of this year, with five clients but has grown quickly and now has over thirty companies producing from the site. There was a real buzz to the place and I can well imagine that it’s a hot bed of collaboration – where one person uses anothers product or gets inspiration from one another. I also particularly liked the flexibility of the site – it has countless pieces of equipment, but it’s also available 24hrs a day for processing, so if you’re a night owl, there’s a better chance of a quiet space in the wee hours.
For some far better pictures than what I took it’s worth looking at this article. One of the other nice little features was the availability of a dining room and a bar with seating for 10 that looked directly into the kitchen. Jeff who showed me around runs his own monthly event TenTop, a supper club with a changing theme. The next one is offal, which I’d love to attend but sadly I’ll be further South in the Bay Area by then.