I met with the Health Superintendent, Planning Department and Building Inspector, and it became obvious that a shared-use commercial kitchen was a very new and not-at-all-familiar idea. It just didn't fit into any of the city's zoning or permitting regulations. When I met with Mayor Thatcher Kezer, I was impressed by the fact that he was well-aware of Kitchen Local. Although he wasn't familiar with shared-use kitchens, he was open, receptive and excited by the potential. I became engrossed in the permitting process, working closely with the planning board, city council, health and building departments to establish a business that did not fit into any existing regulatory categories.
Last month, I attended an event put on by the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce . Mayor Kezer was also there, and when I overheard him talking to a group of fellow business owners about Kitchen Local I joined the conversation. He explained that he had recently attended a conference in Washington, DC, where he cited Kitchen Local as an example of an innovative business with a significant impact on the economic development of the City of Amesbury. He talked about the number of new businesses seeking permits from the city council and how much of an impact that made in a small city. It was a great reminder of why I started this business and how big an impact Kitchen Local makes both for food producers and my local community. Oh, and the best part? Unbeknownst to me, a part of this conversation was videotaped by fellow local business owner Christine Green! Here's the clip:
I continue to be awed by and grateful for the sense of community here at Kitchen Local. The businesses operating out of Kitchen Local have started to get to know each other and share resources and experiences. We've also received a tremendous amount of support from the City of Amesbury and the Amesbury business community. One of the reasons I started this business is because I believe in local businesses and my local community. So when I hear Mayor Kezer talk, it reminds me of why I do what I do. The truth is, we're all here to support each other!
Keep on Cookin'!