Since we launched The Kitchen Door in Canada in January, we’ve seen a red and white wave of exciting businesses joining the platform. Canadian food entrepreneurs are clearly eager to join the largest network of shared kitchen facilities in the world.
Although it’s early days for our network north of the border, with more kitchens joining every week, there is already a growing community of shared kitchens, commissaries, community kitchens, and food industry incubators providing foodie entrepreneurs with the means to realize their dreams of running their own business.
We wanted to celebrate some of the biggest players in the Canadian shared kitchen scene by highlighting the communities in different cities and areas of the country.
But first, if you don’t already know what The Kitchen Door is, here’s a brief rundown of the platform and how it has already helped over a thousand shared kitchens connect with tenants in the US.
What is The Kitchen Door?
As they were already building a shared kitchen community and creating software for commissary and shared kitchen operators, it made sense to build a platform to connect food businesses looking for space to those with space to spare.
The Kitchen Door was born as The Food Corridor’s platform to connect food businesses with kitchen space in their area. But how does it work?
- Shared kitchen operators add their kitchens to the site
- They can add photos, and information about equipment, services, and location
- Food businesses search for kitchen space by location and browse the listings to find licensed commercial kitchens nearby
- They join a shared kitchen, meet like-minded foodies, and grow their business
Since its launch in the summer of 2008, The Kitchen Door has facilitated over 40,000 connections between food businesses and shared kitchen operators. Now it’s Canada’s turn to reap the benefits by joining The Kitchen Door.
The Biggest Players in the Shared Kitchen Industry in Canada
The growing shared kitchen industry in Canada is centered around the largest cities coast to coast, along with some exciting players in smaller towns and communities.
Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver all have several shared commercial kitchens and incubators helping food businesses find space to work their magic. And there are other shared kitchens and incubator projects dotted across the country.
Let’s take a look at some of the key players in the industry.
With three (soon to be four) shared kitchens across Vancouver, Coho Commissary offers more than just a kitchen and prep space for rent, it’s a hub for innovation with consulting and business development services for its members. After starting out as an angel investment fund, the team soon realized the need for quality kitchen space for food businesses and set about creating modern kitchens to help businesses get started, find investment, and grow.
The large modern kitchens across Vancouver are equipped with everything you could dream of, have dedicated loading bays, co-working office space, and 24/7 access.
Members also benefit from Coho market, an online store selling health foods, delicious treats, and veg-forward meals. The project showcases local businesses and some of the kitchen’s own users in a celebration of community growers and producers.
Vancouver’s newest shared kitchen can be found north of the river. Opened in 2018, North Shore Commissary has a large modern kitchen filled with the kind of commercial-grade equipment that you won’t find in most kitchens, from a smoker with digital temperature control, a giant steam kettle, and a 50-liter tilt skillet, to the more conventional ovens, deep fryers, and dishwasher. So whether you’re making smoked meats, soups, or sandwiches, they’ve got you covered.
Every member gets access to an office space too, so you can catch up on the paperwork at the same location. And there is ample cold and dry walk-in storage making the space ideal for co-ops, farmer’s market producers, chefs, bakers, and food truck operators.
Kitchen 24 is a commercial shared kitchen and culinary community for foodie entrepreneurs in Toronto. Opened in 2017, the community-focused shared kitchen provides 35,000 square feet of modern preparation and storage space.
In 2020, Kitchen 24 spearheaded the Feed Toronto initiative, creating meals for vulnerable people around the city. To date, they have produced more than 30,000 meals for people in need. So if you’re a community-minded food business looking to network, Kitchen 24 could be a good fit.
Toronto’s Farmer’s Pantry doubles as both a commercial shared kitchen and a farmer’s market. A range of delicious small-batch soups, healthy meals, and deli products are sold at local retailers or directly from its online store.
Food businesses can rent a station in the kitchen by the hour to produce their own food, or outsource production by sending the recipe in and having the team produce it. This is called co-packing and is a great way to cut down on labor costs and reduce food waste.
At the heart of a hub of small business activity in Toronto, you’ll find East York Kitchen by Day. This shared commercial kitchen is surrounded by other food production businesses and craft breweries. Probably because the area is near enough to downtown, but also next to the highway for easy logistics, it’s a popular location for producing on a small scale.
The spacious kitchen offers 24-hour access, parking on-site, and use of a walk-in freezer, fridge, double oven, and dishwasher inside.
Scadding Court Community Centre runs a huge range of projects to help the surrounding community in and around its location in Alexandra Park, as well as further-reaching efforts all over Toronto, regionally, nationally, and even globally. The community center provides facilities for social interaction, sports, recreation, education, business development, and much more besides.
The center’s kitchen is an ingeniously converted shipping container in which they have installed a surprising amount of cooking equipment including a convection oven, deep-fryers, a griddle, walk-in cold storage, and a dishwasher.
The center is a hub for community innovation and collaboration so it would suit a business owner looking to meet like-minded entrepreneurs that want to give something back and build a community around their business.
Apart from having a brilliant name, Kitchen Sync provides an events space, community hub, and commercial kitchen space to rent in Downtown Winnipeg. The space is a hub for creativity and offers regular cooking classes showcasing the skills of the kitchen renters.
The modern kitchen space features a large range of cooking and prep equipment as well as cold and dry storage areas, and lockable storage for your personal belongings.
Kitchen Collective is an exciting new non-profit kitchen co-operative and culinary incubator in Hamilton Ontario. The team is big on helping new food businesses find space to produce but also to share ideas and collaborate with others.
The kitchen is in its early days but the plan is to be part of the revitalization of the industrial area in which it is located, to bring much-needed industry, energy, and creativity to the local community.
The cauldron was a place where villagers congregate to discuss the day’s events over a communal cooking pot. Ottawa’s Cauldron Kitchen aims to fulfill the same function for its local community of food industry entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The Cauldron Kitchen has a shared kitchen, a bakery, and a prep and meal assembly space, all of which can be configured to match your needs.
Alongside regular cooking classes and an online store, the team also runs an incubator program known as The Cauldron Abecedarian Program (CAP) which grants funding and support to burgeoning food businesses who can show that they have original ideas that will benefit the community.
Canotek is Ottawa’s largest shared kitchen, offering 2,000 square feet of cold and dry storage, prep, cooking, and baking space.
It functions as a co-working space for small to medium food businesses, with a retail and packaging area to boot. The different spaces can be rented by the hour, on a monthly contract, or on Flex packages giving a lot of flexibility for growing or seasonal businesses.
Opened in 2019, Culinary Coworking is reportedly Calgary’s first shared kitchen. An exciting space designed for caterers, bakers, food truckers, farmer’s market vendors, and other small producers in Cowtown to come together and grow the local food economy.
Father and son team Herbert and Andrew Obrecht, well know in Calgary as innovative food industry movers and shakers, designed the space to nurture the talent and creativity of the city’s burgeoning food scene.
Alongside the shiny new kitchen, the team offers shared office space, business support, and networking opportunities with like-minded entrepreneurs.
Join The Kitchen Door Community in Canada
The shared kitchen community in Canada is already alive with passion and creativity. It is a vibrant space for people to realize their passions, meet others, and ignite a fire of purpose and creativity. There’s just one thing missing – your business!
As the community on The Kitchen Door grows in Canada, there is even more opportunity to communicate and collaborate with other business owners in the space. Whether you’re a food business entrepreneur looking for a space to work your magic, or a shared kitchen owner looking for a reliable supply of quality, vetted tenants
So don’t be shy eh? – come and join Canada’s fastest-growing network of culinary artists, producers, and entrepreneurs.