Going out the house to work with fellow freelancers in a coffee shop or dedicated workspace is a lifeline for many self-employed people who struggle with loneliness.
Though what happens if your job can’t be done over a laptop, say, if you are a chef?
Then consider Mission Kitchen is throwing you a rubber ring to safety.
This shared workspace for foodies is essentially a community for people to work, mingle, and, crucially, have access to commercial-sized kitchens to practice their masterpieces.
The brainchild of three co-founders – Charlie Gent, Chris Lumsden and Paul Smyth – they wanted a space that could “help reduce the barriers to entry for small food businesses”.
And their 16,000 sq ft kitchen does just this by helping early ideas grow more quickly so that people don’t have to practice their soufflés or perfect their fondants at home alone.
The idea of bringing co-working to the food industry came to Charlie as he decided to kickstart his own project making artisan bacon.
Yet, living in a shared flat with two housemates and one kitchen between the three of them, domineering it to cure pork belly for weeks on end was not an option.
So, he began brainstorming.
Reflecting back on the situation, Charlie said: “Given the number of aspiring food entrepreneurs in London, I assumed there would be somewhere I could go to get started.
“But when I went looking I couldn’t find what I was looking for.
“A bit of research showed that there was an established model for kitchen incubators and shared kitchens in the USA. So, I decided to build the thing I needed.”
It was then that Charlie joined forces with Chris and Paul, who offered expertise in site management and the design of specialist workspace projects, and his idea became reality.
Based in London’s New Covent Garden Market, the trio now offer a variety of options to entrepreneurs, whether through shared kitchen space, access to their private kitchens, or desks for those who work in food but are not always chained to the kitchen.
Despite the devastation that the pandemic caused with furlough, job loss and redundancies, the co-founders say it also “drove a revolution in entrepreneurship and innovation”.
This is not only because unemployment saw a surge in people starting their own businesses, but also because the public moved away from restaurants and towards direct-to-consumer sales.
We can’t wait to see all the new options on Deliveroo soon!
If you’re a culinary artist in the making, then you know where to click: Mission Kitchen.