I typically would not post anything that does not contain a recipe or actual food...but I have to make an exception today. I am really excited because today I saw my idea posted on a billboard on 77 South, as we headed back from Cleveland!
Let me explain...Last week the Plain Dealer ran a story encouraging people to share their ideas of how to improve Cleveland. The website, www.clevelandideas.com, is run by a local company called Digiknow, who hopes to collect the most popular Cleveland ideas and possibly present them to elected officials in the city.
My husband sent me the link to the story, so I posted my idea! This idea comes from necessity. I would like to develop food products for resale, but can do very little out of my home under cottage food industry regulations. To make anything but simple baked goods requires the use of a kitchen certified by health departments, etc. And that's where my story stops...there aren't many options within a reasonable drive of Cleveland or Akron. Sure, I could try and find a restaurant or church willing to let me into their kitchen, but that's a hard sell.
So here's my idea: Create a Kitchen Incubator in Cleveland to be used for food testing and experimentation for those who would like to enter the food production business. Partner with the City of Cleveland, a local body of education, local farmers and purveyors, a local culinary school, and other community partners. Create a positive impact in Cleveland, while retaining talent and encouraging entrepreneurship. Similar, successful kitchen incubators currently exist in New York, Chicago, and LA. Cleveland would be the perfect place for this type of development, and Northeast Ohioans would see the benefits!
Apparently Digiknow is posing some of the ideas on Cleveland billboards, and that's where I saw it today!
As of right now, I think the Kitchen Incubator is the most popular. I would ask that you take a look at the site, and please vote for the idea if you like it! Cleveland is a culinary destination, and this type of development would be another positive step for our city!