CCLK started with, what else, a Kitchen! This Kitchen happened to be at 2800 Euclid Avenue.

In 2011, Carolyn Priemer moved back from Sacramento, CA and was hired to help with Marketing and Administration for J&M Real Estate, her father’s company, that manages the building at 2800 Euclid. One weekend, a friend from California, Ellie, was visiting and happened to mention her work at a shared kitchen in San Francisco. Gordon said to Carolyn: “Hey, why don’t we do that at the kitchen at 2800?” Carolyn responded something like: “Yeah, why don’t we, it does seem to be a conveniently over-sized kitchen?!”

It was really that simple. Both shared a passion for small business entrepreneurship and supporting the local economy. Furthermore, Carolyn could combine her expertise in small business management and community building, with her passion for local food. They decided they needed some partners. Enter Bill and Tim Skaryd.

Bill and Tim Skaryd own and operate Hospitality Sales & Marketing, providing Contract Manufacturing services to produce a variety of products from sauces and dressings to jams and pickles. For the Skaryd’s, CCLK represented another way to assist local food entrepreneurs to “bring their culinary dreams into reality”. Tim, a trained chef, had a particular interest in recipe development, and wanted to put his canning experience to even greater use, by creating the first kitchen in Northeast Ohio where individuals could legally produce their own canned products.

Enter ECDI. Economic and Community Development institute, a non-profit economic development organization, expanded from Columbus to Cleveland in June 2012. They were not only looking for the right location in Cleveland for their organization, but creative ways to help create jobs and support economic development in Cleveland’s unique economy. In July 2012, ECDI had opened the Food Fort, a shared commercial kitchen in Columbus focused on being a commissary for food trucks and carts, and thought a similar endeavor was needed in Cleveland.

Finally, CCLK needed a Kitchen Facility Manager- someone to organize the day to day havoc of a shared kitchen, whom could also enhance the overall business. Enter Patrick Kander. Patrick Kander of Choice Catering had been looking for a location for his catering business, and wanted to utilize his experience managing busy kitchens (before having his own business, he was the Executive Chef for the University of Akron), and mentoring individuals interested in a culinary career.

CCLK opened its doors in May 2013, born of a true partnership of individuals passionate about local food and entrepreneurship, to support culinary entrepreneurs in northeast Ohio.

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