A community kitchen is now open for rental in Whitefield. Whether for caterers, cooking classes, new culinary business owners, or someone who just wishes to cook with a fully equipped kitchen, Food Forge offers space to create, store, and serve food.
When Milva and Stephen Smith purchased the Country Farms Restaurant building in 2008, they quickly converted the building into two apartment units and a commercial space to lease out. But they hesitated on what to do with the large kitchen. Former restaurant owners themselves, they knew how valuable commercial cooking equipment is. The Smiths started searching kitchen business ideas when they came across the idea of a community kitchen.
Milva Smith said she sees how many products around the area are locally made, and she feels the community would benefit from a licensed space that would allow people to create and start businesses.
“We’ve both been there,” she said, speaking of her and her husband, “and we both understand how important it is to support small businesses.”
The Smiths opened their first restaurant, Giacomo’s, in Bangor in December 2007. Milva Smith said she loved the idea of helping people start their own culinary businesses and understands the costs.
“We are catering to that person looking to get off the ground, but not ready to make a huge investment,” said Smith.
The Smiths started renovating the kitchen slowly over the last couple years. They have been using it to host meetings of a 4H club. Milva Smith volunteers with the club. She enjoys the open space the kitchen provides for a large group of people, and not having to worry about those people coming through her home.
The kitchen can be rented out for five hours for $125. The five hours can be spaced out over the course of a month.
In addition to the kitchen, Food Forge has a large banquet room available for rental with a spacious parking lot. There is also storage space for food products and ingredients.
Food Forge is located at 17 Mills Road in Whitefield. For more information, go to mainefoodforge.com or call Milva Smith at 941-1199.