Tuscarawas County explores commercial kitchen

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NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio — The Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market and the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Kent State University Tuscarawas are encouraging those interested in starting/expanding a food-based business to take a survey designed to determine interest and market potential for a shared-use commercial kitchen and food incubator in Tuscarawas County.

The survey can be found at the Market’s website (www.tvffm.org) and must be completed by Aug. 17.

What it is

A shared-use commercial kitchen and food incubator would help entrepreneurs and businesses grow and could lower the cost of starting or expanding local food businesses. The kitchen incubator would also allow the Small Business Development Center  and other consultants to assist clients with business planning and marketing efforts.

Exploring models

Recently, many representatives from several area organizations involved with business development visited the Common Wealth Kitchen Incubator in Youngstown.

“As we see it, we have an opportunity right here in Tuscarawas County to do something similar, and at the same time, something that reflects the unique needs and character of our community,” said Mark McKenzie, chairman of the Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market.

Typically, shared-use food incubators have code-compliant facilities that include commercial quality refrigerators, freezers, mixers, stoves, broilers, grills, griddles, ovens, convection ovens, combination ovens, steam tables, fryers, microwaves, food warmers, steamers, dishwashers, storage space, extensive counter and prep spaces, and a variety of other specialized pieces of equipment.

Not online?

In addition to completing the survey online, residents may also print and mail the survey to Steve Schillig at the Small Business Development Center, Kent State University Tuscarawas, 1776 Tech Park Drive NE- Suite 103, New Philadelphia, OH 44663-9403 or fax to 330-308-5879.

For questions about the survey or to request a hard copy, contact Schillig at 330-308-7479 or email at sschil10@kent.edu.

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