Colette Wilson of Colmoni's Catering preps meals daily for her nutritionally-conscious clients.
Brenda Brown (owner of Frontier Kitchen) with Wilson at the Lorton location.
Vi and Johnny Le of FreshLe Prep, a business geared toward meal prep for athletes and bodybuilders.
31 small businesses currently use the Frontier Kitchen locations to prep their food.
Food service can be a tough industry to break into.
But for small food businesses in the Northern Virginia area, it just got a little bit easier, thanks to Frontier Kitchen.
Frontier Kitchen is a small food business incubator with two kitchen locations in Lorton and Haymarket, where businesses can come and use a communal kitchen to prep their food.
“About five years ago I started getting requests for business plan assistance – friends, family…then my husband started to go to culinary school. He got out and wanted to start his own bakery – and he couldn’t find a kitchen. So we built one, and opted to turn both of our skills into something useful,” said Frontier Kitchen owner and Woodbridge resident Brenda Brown.
The Haymarket site opened last spring, and the Lorton location opened last fall, and Frontier Kitchen already hosts 31 local businesses between the sites, according to Brown.
“This is a shared kitchen – that’s its sole purpose…[the businesses] come in, they take a work station. We can have six businesses at once and if they’re sharing and do other things, more than that,” said Brown.
According to Brown, food business incubators are rare in this area, outside of Washington, D.C.
“What I like to see, and what’s fulfilling for me, is when the kitchen’s full,” said Brown.
One of the businesses involved with Frontier Kitchen, Colmoni’s Catering – owned by Colette Wilson – has been in the catering business for a year, focusing on ‘heavy appetizers’ for parties, baked cakes and sweets for weddings, and prepped meals for fitness and nutritionally-conscious customers.
“Getting out of our homes, and being able to do this the ‘right’ way, in a commercial kitchen with lots of space…is awesome,” said Wilson.
In addition to building their businesses, the individuals that work in the Frontier Kitchen have been able to create bonds and network in their industry.
Vi Le of FreshLe Prep, a business that focuses solely on creating meals for athletes and bodybuilders, said that one of the biggest benefits of working in the Frontier Kitchen is the networking experiences she and her husband Johnny have had.
“You would think that some of us are competitive with one another, but we always want to help support each other…it’s been really great networking,” said Le.
According to Brown, they are hoping to continue to expand their current Frontier Kitchen locations, to bring in more fledgling food businesses.
© Copyright 2018 What's Up Prince William. All Rights Reserved