STEP

Ghost kitchen. Virtual kitchen. Cloud kitchen. Shared kitchen. Development Kitchen.

Whatever the name, these commercial kitchen spaces are one of the biggest food trends of the decade. Stirling’s business support company, STEP, will this week celebrate the opening of four such unique kitchen spaces at the company’s Stirling Enterprise Park.

STEP’s rental kitchens are designed to support local food entrepreneurs and food-based businesses with access to affordable space and high tech equipment combined with on-site business support.

Stirling Enterprise Park is already home to five successful food-focused businesses; Blueberry Hill Meals, Perthshire Preserves, Prime Street Food, The Cake Rack and Chilli HQ creating a vibrant innovative community of food and drink businesses.

A project that has been a pipeline dream at STEP for five years was finally able to become reality thanks to research carried out by Forth Valley Lomond Leader who indicated there are rural-based food producers, with small scale kitchen facilities who need help to upscale to larger commercial production facilities for short periods of time to meet seasonal demand. Stirling Council Environmental Health Food Safety team also confirmed STEP’s market research that there is a demand for small fully-fitted kitchen space, ready to use, without a long term commitment.

STEP’s profit re-investing model along with securing £50,000 funding from Stirling Council meant that £100,000 has been invested in derelict space at Stirling Enterprise Park to create two unique fully functional kitchens named The Pantry and The Cookhouse now available as development / rental kitchens on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. In addition to typical food startups, STEP also anticipates the space will be used for everything from menu development and testing innovative food concepts to cooking classes and special events.

“Having been in the pipeline for such a long time, we are really excited to see businesses operating in the space, see it, use it and let it become a base for some amazing Food & Drink Entrepreneurs. Having access to a commercial kitchen will be a massive game-changer for many food businesses in Stirling but will especially benefit rural businesses looking for a city-based prep kitchen and we are all keen to see the positive impact this space will have on these businesses.” Laura Melville, Property Manager at STEP.

Two affordable manufacturing units with basic fittings were also created and both have now been let to local businesses FondlyIced and Platter and Pop.

Fondlyiced

Fondlyiced was founded 10 years ago by Becky McEwan and since then has grown rapidly. Becky is the recipient of 2018, 2020 Regional Wedding Cake Designer of the Year and 2018 Scottish Wedding Cake Designer of the Year awards. It’s now time for Fondlyiced next step, which means moving into their first commercial premises.

Owner Becky McEwan said,

“What started as a small family business has grown into a ‘real’ grown-up company and sometimes when I look at what I have achieved and I am amazed. Looking back I remember being told ‘it’s a phase’, ‘you’ll get bored’, ‘it’s too much hard work for not enough money’ and now here I am 10 years on, 3 awards later and it’s the perfect time to take on my very first kitchen space. Having got support from STEP all those years ago to start my business, when I heard that they were in the process of setting up new kitchen spaces to rent, it was like fate. We can’t wait to get settled in and making more beautiful cakes!”

You can find out more about Fondlyiced on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fondly.iced

Platter and Pop.

Platter and Pop is a creative events studio specialising in event styling, planning and grazing style catering. Creative Directors; Susannah Nixon and Sophie Arnot, have more than 10 years’ experience in the catering and events industry, working for some of the UK’s most prestigious brands and venues. Platter and Pop is the coming together of this experience and the teams’ passion for great food, fabulous parties and exquisite styling.

Creative Director Susannah Nixon said

“We required a well-located kitchen unit, that was really centrally located as we work on luxury events all over Scotland. We are a fast-paced, fast-growing company, working with STEP to find premises has been a very smooth process. It will be great to be one of the many food and drink based businesses located in the park meaning we can work on lots of exciting collaborations”

You can find out more about Platter and Pop on their website at https://www.platterandpop.co.uk/ For more information, visit STEP’s property website at www.stepproperty.co.uk or contact the property team at step@stepscotland.co.uk.

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