There's no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen at The Kitchen Connection in Ridgeland. The more cooks, the merrier.
Since March, co-owners Christine King and Cindy Stenger have rented out their 1,500-square-foot facility with three cooking stations, storage and freezer space to vendors for food trucks, farmer's markets and wannabe "foodpreneurs."
An ice machine, six-burner range tops, a baking station, a steam kettle and assorted other equipment are on-site. Space and catering is available for special occasions like birthday parties, corporate functions and wine tastings.
The duo offers commercial kitchen time starting at $125 per month for 10 hours of use, one dry storing shelf and one reach-in freezer shelf. Their platinum premier rate of $425 per month exponentially expands the amenities, including overnight parking. Executive chef services also are available.
The Kitchen Connection's schedule is booked week in and out, and clients are emailed upcoming schedules every Sunday night.
"It's a very fluid plan in the kitchen; we can adjust to needs and changes," said King, a Pittsburgh native who spent 40 years in the food industry before moving to the Lowcountry about four years ago from North Carolina, where she grew up.
Renting commercial kitchen space is complemented by their "Grab and Go" lunch every Tuesday featuring fresh deli-type sandwiches, she-crab soup and Brunswick stew.
"The kitchen to rent is our No. 1 priority, and events and box lunches come in a close second," said Stenger, also a Pittsburgh native who also moved here four years ago. The women didn't know each other until they met here.
So how did this hot commercial kitchen idea come about? On a golf course, of course. Last November, the duo was playing a round when King said, "Let's start a food truck," Stenger recalled. "We thought, what a great idea, and then we realized the rules and regs and being confined to a food truck ... we thought there was more potential in these commercial kitchens."
"We studied and looked at all the big cities, websites and books on commercial kitchens and came up with our plan for this," King said.
They built-out an existing shell of a building in January, and two months later opened Kitchen Connection.
Both of them love to cook, and it shows. They love their clients and expect nothing but good cooking times ahead.
For more information, call 843-970-3030 or visit www.kitchenconx.com.
Dean Rowland is a veteran senior editor and freelance writer.