Local non-profit helps create jobs

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The job market is cooking in the desert thanks to a relatively new organization in the Coachella Valley.  It's called ShareKitchen and it's providing home-cooks a way to develop their product into money making business. 

"There are a lot of people looking for work and to create their own opportunities," said Co-Founder of ShareKitchen, Haddon Libby.

Starting a business takes more than just an idea. 

"If you are going to try and start a restaurant it's very expensive, if you have a catering business or anything, you want to open up your own food line in a store, the cost to do it on your own are astronomical," said Libby.

But, an idea is all you need at ShareKitchen.

"It's an idea lab, whatever someone wants to do in the food business," said Libby.

Coachella Valley BBQ Company started about a year and a half ago. 

"We were just doing BBQ, just meat only and we've expanded our menu," said Coachella Valley BBQ Company Co-founder Sean Smith.

This fast growing catering business came to ShareKitchen in May.

"They have been there for us for a lot of questions and guiding us in the right path, just getting us started and off the ground," said Smith.

It's illegal to cook catered food out of a home kitchen and using a professional one is often times too expensive for a small company.  That's where ShareKitchen comes in.  The non-profit rents their commercial space 24 hours a day 7 days a week at a low cost.

"What we are doing today is prepping for a few events that we have today.  We are able to utilize the entire space and get the kitchen and everything that is included in it and treat it like it is ours which is really nice.  We can come in by making an appointment, just getting everything ready," said Smith.

Businesses not only get to use the commercial kitchen space, but they also get mentored.

"I think in the last year we have mentored or created close to 20 new businesses and over 60 jobs," said Libby.

"It's not just make food and there it is.  There is a lot involved with it and luckily we are involved with ShareKitchen and they are here to help us on the way," said Smith.

"It's a safe way for somebody to try a business without potentially causing themselves financial trouble," said Libby.  "Just come here and we will help you."

ShareKitchen hopes to expand to other communities in the future. 

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