Thursday, November 19, 2015

Incubator in St Louis whips up food businesses


St Louis University has an industrial kitchen in the basement.
It has been used to teach nutrition and dietetics students the skills to operate restaurants and catering businesses. (It also prepared breakfasts and lunches for six nearby elementary schools.)

Recently the university upgraded it with new fridges and freezer and two blast chillers.

Now a dozen small food businesses rent space there. The university is making no dough on it, but it is self-supporting.

The faculty and grad students consult with the companies. One is Jessie-Pearle's Poundcakes Etc.  She has baked for 55 years but now can produce more cakes. All the tools are there, Jessie says.

Another student turned his master's thesis on how to bring locally produced tofu to St Louis into a business, MOFU Tofu. He uses non-GMO soybeans.

The caramel apple business called Rebel Roots prepares 80 apples a week for sale at farmers' markets. She uses her grandma's recipes for pretzel bit, marshmallow and peppercorn apples, among others.t

A women's shelter partially supports itself baking chicken pot pies at the kitchen. Homeless men also make Fresh Start Dog Food--which also sells cat treats.

For other campus kitchens, check out: http://www.campuskitchens.org/locations/

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