Kitchen 66, which has tasted plenty of success since its inception in 2016, has another innovation on the front burner.
A program of the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, the incubator kitchen will team with Tulsa Farmers Market to offer a farm stand inside Mother Road Market, it was announced Tuesday. The special section will be part of Kitchen 66’s General Store inside the 27,000-square-foot food hall scheduled to open in August at 1124 S. Lewis Ave.
An estimated 100 people turned out Tuesday for the dedication of Kitchen 66’s new 2,800-square-foot commercial kitchen at that location.
Over the past two decades, Tulsa Farmers Market has grown into the largest market of its kind in the state, with more than 70 participant farmers, ranchers, producers and artisans.
“We believe that with Mother Road Market, along with all the other local businesses in our new brick-and-mortar space, we’re really going to take the local movement to the next level,” said Tulsa Farmers Market Director Kristin Hutto. “We feel that this partnership with Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation is a perfect fit, considering our missions are so complementary to one another.”
The Kitchen 66 General Store, which also will open in August, will offer a curated mix of packaged products, swag items and household goods, integrating products made by Kitchen 66’s own entrepreneurs with products from other Oklahoma makers.
Kitchen 66 members Cooktime with Remmi, Okie Dough and Baby D’s Bee Sting, as well as Oklahoma-based Elevate Candles and Happenstance Coffee, will be among the contributors to the general store.
Tulsa Farmers Market will operate the Farm Stand, providing locally grown, farm-to-table produce, meat and dairy.
“What started as just an idea in a pilot test downtown in the Sun Building cafeteria has now rapidly transitioned into a vibrant community of successful food businesses and a robust program,” said Adele Beasley, LTFF director of food innovation.
“Kitchen 66 today is a launchpad, a starting point for new entrepreneurs to test and develop … their ideas. We are so proud of what the program has accomplished over the past two years, and we can’t wait to see the future for the program at the Mother Road Market.”
Kitchen 66 will also operate an additional space in Mother Road Market for the Takeover Café. The model was made popular at the former Sun Building location. Kitchen 66 members can sign up to takeover the shop for breakfast or lunch and practice running the front and back of the house, gaining valuable customer feedback.
“Not only is Kitchen 66 considered the expert in Tulsa to help entrepreneurs in the food industry go from concept to market, … other cities are now calling us asking for advice and guidance so they can build out their own kitchen incubator program and business curriculum,” said LTFF CEO Elizabeth Frame Ellison.
Also announced Tuesday was the Beta Year Impact Report, authored by Natalie Deuschle, LTFF director of grants and impact.
It showed that from January 2016 to July 2017, Kitchen 66 added $164,160 in goods and services to the Tulsa area. It also indicated that 50 percent of beta year entrepreneurs were female, 47 percent were people of color and 16 percent were at or below the poverty line.
Since 2016, Kitchen 66 has offered affordable access to commercial kitchen space, business training programs and sales opportunities to food entrepreneurs.
LTFF co-founder “Bill (Lobeck) and I had always hoped that the resources that we worked hard for as entrepreneurs and risk-takers could someday be used to help other entrepreneurs reach their dreams,” Kathy Taylor said. “With the dedication today of Kitchen 66 on the Mother Road, where our passion for cars and our passion for food intertwine, we are realizing our dream.”