We want our store to be like a year-round, indoor farmers’ market that provides fresh, quality food to the community.
I want to apologize for what’s about to happen. I’m going to geek out pretty bad. I’m going to call Shannon Källåker a genius and imply that she deserves a nobel prize in every category. And I’m sorry, but I just can’t help it. Because Källåker is opening a culinary incubator and it’s maybe the best idea I’ve ever heard, including my own idea: drive-thru grocery store.
What’s a culinary incubator? “It’s a place where someone can get their food-based business started,” Källåker explains. This someone could be a farmers’ market vendor looking to get distribution. It could be a baker hoping to get into the wedding business. It could be a home cook wanting to make some money on the side. All of these people need a place to cook and help getting their business off the ground. “We want to help people a little bit, help them find their place and the things they need to do to start their business,” Källåker says.
When the Lemon and Sage building is completed this summer, it will include eight kitchen stations and professional equipment, all licensed, that cooks can use to produce their products. The building will also include a storefront where members can sell their goods. “We want our store to be like a year-round, indoor farmers’ market that provides fresh, quality food to the community,” Källåker says, then adds, “Anyone, not just people using our kitchens, can apply to have their products featured in our store.”
In addition to a licensed facility in which members can cook, guidance for launching their business, and a storefront where they can sell their products, members also benefit from the Lemon and Sage marketing efforts. “We’re offering services that include social media promotion of members’ businesses and profiles on our website,” Källåker says.
This whole brilliant endeavor started when Källåker’s daughter decided to live in Italy as a foreign exchange student and needed to raise money to get there. Källåker, an avid homecook, suggested they make food to sell for a fundraiser, but upon looking into the rules for a home kitchen, learned that the requirements were difficult if not impossible to meet. No kids or pets in the kitchen. The kitchen must be inspected. And so on and so forth. It’s a real bummer for those who like to cook, would like to make some dough (get it?), but also have, you know, a family living in their home. So Källåker and her husband got to talking and decided that a kitchen incubator was “a really cool idea for a business.” They were 100% correct. So they started putting their ideas together and then started construction on their facility located in historic downtown Springville.
“We hope that it catches on,” Källåker says. “We hope that we can help a lot of people to realize their own ambitions and get them up and running.” Lemon and Sage offers a tiered membership plan. Members can rent a kitchen for as much as 80 hours a month or as little as 20, or rent kitchens at a drop-in $30 an hour rate. Källåker is offering discounted start-up pricing for the first six months to help members get their business off the ground. “We’re open to anyone and open to their ideas,” she says.
So if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for me to go live my dream and move to Springville, and someday, when Martha Stewart asks me where I got my start, I’ll say, “Lemon and Sage Artisan Kitchens, Bakery and Market.”