Two years ago, when Re:Vision leased an old restaurant building on Morrison Road as our office space, an idea started brewing in our minds - to transform the back storage room into a community kitchen.
As participation in Re:Vision’s backyard garden program grew, our Morrison Road offices have become a make-shift community center. Residents and partners visit regularly for meetings, trainings and community celebrations. Unfortunately, we’ve had to leave the neighborhood to teach people how to cook the food they’ve been growing in their gardens, as no commercial kitchen facilities exist in Westwood that are open for community use.
And all the while, the idea of building our own commercial kitchen kept simmering on the back burner.
In late 2012, after stewing on this idea and discussing it with the community, a vision emerged. Community members asked for a place where they can gain cooking skills, knowledge about healthy eating, and of course, share food and recipes. Many want to learn how to cook healthy meals using fresh produce from their garden. And most importantly, they wanted a gathering place where local food culture can steep until its full flavors emerge, using the wisdom of the community as its foundation. Finally – the kitchen will be an incubator helping would-be entrepreneurs to get their food-based businesses off the ground and running.
A recipe had been formed. Then, in 2013, all the ingredients began coming together.
Several generous foundations, including the Sparkplug Foundation, the Jane Musser Fund, Westwood Unidos and the USDA, gave grants. Plans were drawn up, contractors were hired, and papers were filed with the building department. Then more papers. And more. Then waiting. And more waiting. Then finally, our plans were approved!
Today, we are excited to announce that work is underway! The exhaust hood and fan have been installed, electrical work is nearly complete, and the cabinetry and learning stations are just around the corner. Re:Vision’s Educational Community Kitchen is taking shape - you can almost smell it!