While the weather outside may be getting frightful, the Knox Community Kitchen is hoping to make the fall and winter months a little more delightful.
Having re-opened its indoor market on Oct. 17, the community kitchen hopes to bring a diverse lineup of food and entertainment to every second Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the colder months to come.
The community kitchen is located in the historic Knox United Church (400 Edmonton Street) in the heart of Winnipeg. The re-opening of the kitchen’s indoor market came about after a successful project pilot run in March that continued until June of this year.
Executive director of the Knox Community Kitchen, Natasha Ross, sees the impact of the kitchen and indoor market in the larger context of the downtown area around Central Park.
“I think Central Park has the potential to be a more frequented destination for leisure and cultural activity, but one of the challenges we face in Central Park are perceptions of safety,” explains Ross.
“Our market and kitchen attempt to deal with this issue by creating events and opportunities that bring outsiders to the neighbourhood on a frequent basis through food-based activities.”
The main attractions for customers are the food commodities that are provided.
“Our product offering is diverse and includes prepared and ready-to-eat foods from Africa and the Philippines; baked goods (breads, cupcakes and pies); authentic Belgian waffles; gourmet donuts; healthy meal packages; and Texas-style breakfast tacos,” explains Ross.
“My mouth is watering just talking about it!”
Since opening earlier this year, The Knox Community Kitchen has offered food entrepreneurs unique business opportunities and experiences.
“Our commercial kitchen helps get food businesses started that would normally not be able to, due to the high cost of establishing a commercial kitchen.” says Ross.
“We are helping people improve their earning potential and financial security– while supporting and encouraging the creation of new and unique food products to be enjoyed.”
Buttercream by Alareen
Alareen Doherty, owner of the food venture Buttercream by Alareen, specializes in the sweet and savoury.
“I design, create, and bake custom made cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, cupcakes in a jar, and anything baked,” explains Doherty.
Providing her custom delicacies for all occasions and special events, Doherty speaks highly of what the community kitchen has been able to provide for her and her business.
“Having baked from home for months, the move to Knox Kitchen has been incredibly beneficial for my business. Working in the commercial kitchen has greatly improved my production efficiency – allowing me to bake mass quantities of products in a short time frame,” says Doherty.
“Cake decorating requires many tools and supplies [. . .]This [move] has freed up a large amount of space in my small 800 square foot home.”
As one of the businesses present at the inaugural re-opening on Oct. 17, Doherty sees potential in the Knox Community Kitchen indoor market.
“Because my orders are primarily online and I do not have a store front, the market is a great way for people to sample my products without putting an order in and it also helps to put a face to a name.”
For more information on Buttercream by Alareen,visitbuttercreambyalareen.com
Menu Beyond Borders
Menu Beyond Bordersprovides Winnipeggers with plates from around the world.
“Our meals come from many different countries, and are a rich source of inspiration worthy to be tasted and sure to satisfy; whether it is your first taste, or one you’ve been missing from home,” explains sole proprietor, Helen Akue.
Offering items such as beef and chicken pies (also known as “Jamaican patties”), and ox-tail soup, The Knox Community Kitchen has provided Akue with a source of inspiration in her craft.
“The availability of the commercial kitchen in a strategic location has allowed me to test my business ideas and given me the opportunity for growth in the food industry,” explains Akue.
“The kitchen location is very central, with lots of diverse cultures visiting the Knox Church building for different programs [. . .] This cultural diversity has inspired my business idea[. . .] [Menu Beyond Borders].”
With the re-opening of the indoor market, Akue and “Menu Beyond Borders” returned to 400 Edmonton Street.
“It was exciting to be part of the market again. I met with new and old customers and colleagues, which was great.”
For more information on Menu Beyond Borders,visit menubeyondborders.com
The Knox Community Kitchen at Knox Church (400 Edmonton Street) presents its indoor market every Friday bi-weekly from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The next indoor market will be Oct. 31.