Monday, October 29, 2012
As a foodie, I meet a lot of friendly, fascinating people. I met Kelly LeCoy at a supper club and during our introduction she said that she owns Uptown Kitchen in the Eastown area of Grand Rapids.
Opened in February 2012, Uptown Kitchen started out as a business plan for Kelly’s final thesis project (she attended Calvin College). She won two business plan competitions, and in May 2012, she received a $5,000.00 grant through the 5 X 5 program (now Start Garden).
The Michigan Cottage Food Law allows small producers to make their food products at home and sell through direct sales (such as via farmers markets). To expand into retail stores, restaurants, Internet or mail order sales, or to wholesalers, brokers or other food distributors, the product must be made in a commercial kitchen. Uptown Kitchen, with 2,500 square feet of space, is rented hourly to provide small producers the access they need to expand their businesses. They have a pastry area, catering area, and two prep kitchen areas.
Additionally, there is a dining room that seats 50 which includes a counter for small classes of up to 12 people. The Grand Rapids Cooking School holds classes at Uptown Kitchen, and the Grand Rapids Public Library held a canning class there this summer.
How cool is it that all of this started as a college thesis project? Below is a list of the Uptown Kitchen tenants.
I Love Bread and Butter