by Sophia Chang, Kitchener Oakland Kitchener is Oakland, California’s little kitchen that could.  As Oakland’s first incubator kitchen, we opened in the Summer of 2012 as a place where start-up food business could cook legally for the public.  But we’re more than just a commercial kitchen, we’re also a community and leaders in the artisan food movement in Oakland.  We came on the scene and created quite a stir with our mission: we help burgeoning and talented food makers grow and thrive through a strong kitchen culture that’s embracing, accepting, knowledgable, and brimming with insatiable entrepreneurial spirit.  That’s us, Kitchener Oakland.

The Take-Out Window Project

Imagine a take-out window, shared amongst small food entrepreneurs, that will serve breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and even late night snacks.  Imagine a place where burgeoning foodmakers who can’t afford their own brick-and-mortars can sell their creations to the public regularly and make a community impact.  This is the Kitchener Take-Out Window Project (also known as The Kitchener Snack Bar)

Proposed elevation drawings of our Kitchener Snack Bar
Proposed elevation drawings of our Kitchener Snack Bar

Like a movie theater which offers unique movie experiences at different hours, the Kitchener Snack Bar will offer unique food experiences at all hours of the day and evening. It’s a shared take-out window storefront that will rotate different artisan food makers throughout the day, a place where a community of start-up artisan food makers who can’t afford their own storefronts can call their shared brick-and-mortar.  The Kitchener Snack Bar will give the artisans the opportunity to list store hours on their website and Yelp pages so that customers can find them regularly.  It’ll also give them exposure they wouldn’t have otherwise received by operating a brick-and-mortar with dramatically minimized financial risk.  Let’s say Huzzah to that! 

We’ll even offer regular pay-what-you-can meals so that people from all economic situations can have access to fresh and delicious food, no matter what their financial situation. At Kitchener, we believe that access to fresh food is a human right, and it’s a right we’d like defend, encourage, and enable. And when our take-out windows are open, you’ll find us open on First Fridays – the monthly street party in Oakland where all of Oakland comes out to party and celebrate Oakland’s vibe and culture! After all, we’re just a stone’s throw from the celebration’s ground zero. And for people who love parklets – beautiful outdoor eating areas that sit on former parking spaces – we’re petitioning for a parklet so that eaters can enjoy the take-out window food right outside the kitchen.  And when the parklet happens, we’ll serve beer and wine on the parklet and Kitchener will become a fresh face in al fresco wining and dining. Help us make the Kitchener Snack Bar into a reality! We’d love to feed people all hours of the day and night, whenever a hunger hankering hits. Oakland food scene is on an upswing, and we’d love to contribute to the energy and momentum that’s making our city a safer, happier, and (even) more delicious place.
Note: Do you have a crowd-funding project on Kickstarter,Indie-Go-GoGoFundMe, or another established site? If the answer is yes, you’re invited to take part in a community experiment–posting and promoting your crowd-funding campaign–which needs to be set in and benefit Oakland, CA–on Oakland Local.  To get your story about your crowd-funding campaign on OL, get in touch with editor@oaklandlocal.com with the story you want us to run (we’re not able to write it for you), the live link to your campaign, and your contact info and photos.  We reserve the right to select which campaigns we run stories on, and to limit or end this experiment at any time.  (On the other hand, we love the idea of helping local entrepreneurs advance their causes by tapping into Oakland Local’s engaged audience.)

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