MANSFIELD – Beneath the Barrington One Building on Park Avenue West and Walnut Street, down a set of narrow stairs and through a door kept closed with an extension cord, is a new opportunity for up-and-coming food entrepreneurs.
Called the Entrepreneur’s Kitchen, the 1,500-square-foot space is available for rent to food truck owners, prospective caterers and anyone else working to build a food business.
“It’s a kitchen for rent, so people who are starting businesses, growing businesses that are food-oriented can rent the kitchen by the hour,” Annamarie Fernyak said.
She’s the founder of Mind Body Align, which operates the kitchen along with the Butterfly House, a small pink-and-blue structure on Mulberry Street, which is expected to open in September.
The kitchen, despite its youth, already has three established members, two who are heading that way, and several new entrepreneurs exploring how to get started, according to Mind Body Align General Manager Bonnie Gross.
The space housed a variety of bars and restaurants in the past, so it was well-equipped to handle Fernyak’s needs.
“If we had had to do what they call a shared use kitchen … half a million dollars to get those things going,” she said. “This didn’t cost anywhere near that.”
Anne Massie is one of those entrepreneurs. She and Aaron Schopp own Altered Eats, a local food truck that serves food from a variety of cultures, including Korean, Mongolian and Latin.
The company purchased a top-flight membership as soon as the kitchen opened. The $400 a month gets her company dry, cold and frozen storage, along with 40 hours to work in the kitchen.
“Now we’re looking to expand our catering options. We can buy more from our farmers in bulk, which saves us money, too,” Massie said. “It’s really nice to have the kitchen because now we can expand to baked goods, and in (the truck) it’s more limiting.”
That type of expansion is what Fernyak wants to see out of the businesses that use her space, as well as her own kitchen.
“We’re tweaking it, we’re learning about the business,” Fernyak said. “Neither of us have been in this type of business so we’re letting it evolve, and it’s a little bit organic as we feel our way through it.”
The Butterfly House is following a similar path of filling a gap in the community.
“That space (the Mulberry Street building) is geared toward yoga instructors, people who teach wellness-oriented classes, counselors, therapists and then coaches, massage therapists,” Fernyak said. She works as a life coach, and struggled to find a space to fit her needs. Then she realized she wasn’t the only person with that problem.
“Nobody could find space,” she said. “Most of them were working out of their home, but they couldn’t really grow. I have three or four other yoga teachers that I work with who were having a hard time finding space to teach, so I thought, ‘Here’s an opportunity.'”
Both projects fall under the umbrella of Fernyak’s Mind Body Align company.
“It’s really about incubating yourself as a balanced, whole person, and that includes who you are professionally as well as who you are personally,” she said. “It also includes your physical health and wellness and your mental and spiritual health and wellness.”
This info is pulled from this original article by the Mansfield News Journal.