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June 2024 Update

Check out the latest updates about our new commissary shared kitchen.


The kitchen is buzzing lately — we’re happy to have so many great local chefs and producers in the house, including Soupa Kitchen (read more about the team below!), Open Water Catering (did you see he catered for royalty recently?), Big Boss Tacos and Ciccio’s Cucina food trucks who will be busy at many festivals this summer, and more!


Read on for details about our next open house, a producer interview, and more!


 

June 12 Open House

Join us for an open house at Kitchen Connect on Wednesday, June 12!


Learn about our equipment, storage, and membership options, bring your burning questions to Operations Manager Kira, and meet other processors and food-interested folks.


Please RSVP if you can. This will be the last open house until September!





 

Spice Bae Brings the Heat


Last week we visited Spice Bae hot sauce founder Jor-Dawn Smith at Kitchen Connect.


Spice Bae is using the Silverson Blending Plant​ and Pro 2000i Unifiller (pictured above) to make and package her hot sauces on a large scale, so she can build up inventory and focus on the busy market season ahead.


Read on to learn more about her creative sauces and time-saving production line!


Tell me a bit about your background story and how you got into making sauces.


I love spicy food, always have. I think there just weren't enough options when I was growing up—it was either Franks or Sriracha or Tabasco, and I thought there was a need for more of it, more flavours, and more ways to do different things.


I started off selling to friends and family and then got online using Facebook Marketplace and other Facebook community groups, and then started my first official market season in 2022. Now we’re in three stores, three full-time markets, and lots of other events here on the Island as well as on the Mainland.


How do you use local produce in your hot sauces?


I'm in a bit of a growth phase right now, so due to the volume I need, I’m not always able to source that locally. I’m working this year to try to partner with farms to get things set in stone for the next growing season—the goal is to use 80% local produce.


For the Holy Habanero Rhubarb sauce, for example, I’ve always purchased rhubarb from a friend’s farm in Sooke, the Picante Peach uses BC-grown peaches, etc.


How has cooking at Kitchen Connect expanded your production capacity?


Before coming into this kitchen, I was making batches quite often, but they were only 50 to 125 bottles each time so this changed my whole production greatly. It means that I can not make anything until next year, so it’s pretty huge to be able to focus on markets for the busy season.


I used to be able to fill 100 bottles in one and a half to two hours, and now I can do 600 bottles in one hour.


I can never go back!  As a small business owner my time is so precious, so any way to make my life more efficient.  


 

Night Owl Discount



Do you know about our Night Owl Discount?🌙✨


Makers who book shifts between 7pm and 5am get a 5% discounted rate on workstations, equipment & storage!


⭐️ For Members, this discount is in addition to the Membership discount.




 

Soupa Kitchen is Ready to Bowl You Over


Jonathan and Inez from Soupa Cafe joined Kitchen Connect in March and have been busy prepping and cooking up a storm ever since!


While Soupa has been around since 2016, owner Jonathan Lomas purchased the soup, salad, and sandwich business in October of last year and is hard at work supplying their St. Andrew’s Square cafe and making big plans for opening a number of new shops in Victoria, and then across the island, and then…the world?


Their soups, including gluten-free and vegan African peanut stew, red lentil mulligatawny, and classic split pea and ham, will also be for sale at grocery stores including Red Barn Market, Country Grocer, Urban Grocer, Pepper’s Foods and more.


Happy to have you here, Soupa!


 

Questions? Contact us!

You can reach our Operations Manager directly via phone or email:

Kira Selah

☎️ 250.488.4633


 

"If you know someone that is interested in pursuing the goal of upscaling their food business, please spread the word about Kitchen Connect!"


 

Thank you to our supporters!


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