First ‘kitchen-for-hire’ concept opens in Manchester

A new venture purporting to be “the first flexible hire kitchen space” in Manchester has opened its doors to the public.

Cook Manchester aims to help new food businesses get a foot on the ladder, as well as offer established companies access to commercial-grade catering equipment for testing or training purposes.

The company has installed a giant professional kitchen over a 3,000 square foot space in Old Trafford, which customers will be able to rent on a 24×7 basis.

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Blackburn-based catering equipment distributor Acme Refrigeration fitted out the kitchen, as well as supplying the majority of kit for the site.

The cooking equipment includes two six burner ranges and ovens from Standex brand Tri-Star, a Lincat six ring gas burner range and oven, a Falcon Dominator steam oven and two bratt pans, a Rational 10-grid combi oven and an Electro Dahlen Spectra four-deck bakery oven.

A range of food preparation equipment is available to use, including Hobart and Zanussi mixers, as well as a Foster blast chiller. The site also boasts separate 24 square foot walk-in fridge and freezer units.

Company director, Sean Fisher, says the site will make it easier for people to start their own food businesses or grow an existing venture without incurring massive costs. Sessions on a single workstation start from just £15 an hour.

“Starting your own food business can be a massive risk, especially if you’re still experimenting and trying to find your niche in the market,” he said. “We want to make it less risky for people to start up and find their place, even if it’s a side business they run in their days off.”

Cook Manchester hopes to take advantage of the buzz surrounding the city’s independent food scene, which is one of the most vibrant outside of London.

As well as start-ups, it is keen to make its services known to caterers that need extra space to expand their business without having to search for new premises, as well as companies that need to hold cooking events or carry out food photography and videos.

By designing the kitchen space to be modular, the food preparation area can be altered to accommodate any customer needs.

The entire kitchen can be booked for up to 24 hours for intensive sessions for larger groups. Storage space is also available to hire in the custom built walk-in cold room and freezer, as well as space to store equipment on the premises.

Fisher said the site was the first of its kind in the Greater Manchester area and “one of only a handful” of similar facilities in the UK.

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