Deuel Community Kitchen Alive and Well
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Deuel Community Kitchen Incubator is Alive and Well
August 5, 2019
The DCK (Deuel Community Kitchen) incubator has undergone a facelift this past summer. This was an agreement reached in 2013 to make this happen. The Deuel Community Kitchen, in rural east central South Dakota is a valuable resource for budding food entrepreneurs. The kitchen incubator was created with the help of a Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the USDA and a unique partnership between Deuel Area Development, Inc. (DADi) and the Deubrook Elementary School. The kitchen has helped several entrepreneurs: Day of the Dead Salsa, Little Shire Farm, Humble Pig Smokery, Prairie Coteau Farm, Foodtopia Farm, work with their product. Some have gone on to phase two which is beyond the scope and plan for the DCK original plan, but definitely welcomed that their product has taken off in the marketplace.
The kitchen provides new or existing businesses with the opportunity to use a commercial kitchen to produce value-added products like jam, pesto and salsa. Regulations dictate that such shelf-stable products have to be produced in a commercial kitchen, which can be a hindrance for individuals aiming to get their products to market.
As DADi director, inheriting the project when the grant was awarded, I needed to find a suitable kitchen and Deubrook stepped up to the plate. Funding helped provide some necessary equipment and meetings to gather interest. The superintendent was open to the idea, viewing this cooperative agreement as a way to give back to the community.
Entrepreneurship is more than just innovative ideas. Putting ideas into practice isn’t easy, especially for startups. Businesses have a better chance of success if they have access to supportive infrastructure. Having access to the kitchen is especially helpful for entrepreneurs starting out, since they have many expenses, from recipe development to traveling around to find a market to sell their product. “I’m really grateful to the Deubrook school system for making this possible. It is ideal for entrepreneurs looking to grow.”
The DCK continues today; DADi and the Deubrook School System are working out some new changes that accompany the future to make this work, protect students, consumer and “chef”. Kim Kludt, Superintendent and Dawn Timmons, Kitchen Manager have been very willing to continue to work through a new plan for usage. Having financial funding has not accompanied the new phase of the DCK due to lack of funding, but it is still available to help start-ups and recipes to get started. New kitchen incubators are beginning in the state, where DCK was the first original one. The Department of Agriculture has used this kitchen incubator as a model demonstration for small, rural communities. The need is there and getting the word out is always a challenge. To view an earlier video of the kitchen, go to www.deuelarea.com/success-stories/deuel-county-incubator. A heightened consumer demand for locally made products opens up many possibilities for the future.
Category: The Directors Corner, Deuel Community Kitchen