NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

January 4, 2013

A place for 'foodpreneurs'

Shared-use commercial kitchen will be first on North Shore

Few people can truly say they have their dream job.

Lisa Sutton, 53, is now one of them.

For the last several months, the Amesbury resident has been hard at work bringing one of her long-held passions to life. Sutton is the founder and owner of Kitchen Local, the North Shore’s first certified shared-use commercial kitchen that cooks and bakers can rent by the hour. There are only three other such kitchens in the state.

The shared kitchen concept — which is more common and widely popular in other states — is ideal for individuals who have an idea for a product but lack the necessary commercial kitchen space to create it, Sutton said. Kitchen Local, which is located in the Cedar Street Studios building, will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sutton has been familiar with the shared kitchen concept for some time. Her older brother, John, owns his own catering company in Austin, Texas, and since he began it 12 years ago, he has been cooking in a shared commercial kitchen near his home, she said. She’s always heard him talk of the kitchen — how great the concept is and how well it works, she said.

Then, last spring, when faced with some life-changing moments, Sutton, the former director of fund development at Opportunity Works in Newburyport, says she began to seriously reconsider what she wanted to do as a career and sought to pinpoint what type of job would truly make her happy.

With her three kids growing older, Sutton says she is at a point now where she can devote energy and time to exploring new opportunities. She reflected on her passions and briefly mulled the idea of opening a quiche business, she said.

Then, she thought back to her other dream: to open her own shared-use commercial kitchen here in Amesbury. She knew instantly that the 14 Cedar Street Studios would be the perfect spot for her business, she said.

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