South Bend neighborhood seeks donations for incubation kitchen

Near Northwest resident Molly B. Moon has a small business.

“My son and I have started a small business growing shiitake mushrooms that we’re bringing to market,” Moon said.

There is only one thing missing for her, a certified kitchen to dehydrate or cook the mushrooms she grows.

“We want to be able to make things like mushroom duxelles, and other good recipes that will kind of stabilize how many mushrooms that we can sell,” Moon said.

It’s stories like Moon’s that inspired her neighbors to push for an incubator kitchen.

“We would be able to use this as an incubator space for neighbors who do not have commercial kitchen to start very small businesses,” NNN Executive Director Kathy Schuth said.

Schuth says the idea is to renovate the small community center kitchen so it's certified for business use.

To do that, they’ll need new appliances, including an oven, and renovation for safety standards

It will take about $15,000 in donations to make it happen, but Schuth says the money she’s most concerned about is the cash small businesses could make by using the space.

“Our idea, is really to let this be a starting point, and if somebody is doing well, then this allows their name to be out. This allows them to market. This allows them to start,” Schuth said.

Whehter it’s a baking career, or a mushroom growing side business like Moon’s, the kitchen space would be open to rent for all neighbors to cook up something fresh.

“That’s what makes it fun to live here. That’s what makes it fun to live in South Bend,” Moon said.

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