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Shared Kitchen Space Fosters Business Growth

Proud Mitten Shared Kitchen, located in the heart of downtown Plymouth, is a culinary gem nestled within the recently preserved Plymouth Arts and Recreation (PARC) Complex. Owner Marlo Bendon firmly believes in the shared kitchen model as a means to support the success of new food business entrepreneurs. “Many small businesses have had the opportunity to cook, create, and collaborate within our kitchen community. This helps to mitigate the major costs of opening their own facility, while allowing for the sharing of ideas and learning amongst each other,” she says. For each made-in-Michigan food business at the shared kitchen, Bendon provides guidance through every step of the process: launch, marketing, expansion and scaling up.

Pastry chef Humaira Arain joined Proud Mitten Shared Kitchen to launch Peach & Honey Cake Bars in 2017. Utilizing many Michigan ingredients, her decadent cake bars are made with simple, all natural ingredients (no artificial flavors, fillers, or high fructose corn syrup here!). “Proud Mitten provided a simple and affordable way to launch my baking business,” Arain said. “With the perks of a professional high-end kitchen at a fraction of the cost, the space provided flexibility, collaborative opportunities, and the ability to grow my business at my own pace, without having to worry about challenges faced when owning a brick and mortar.” Arain is also grateful for the support and personal attention tenants receive. Whether she required certain equipment or mentoring related to developing her business, Arain says, Bendon goes over and beyond in her efforts to facilitate.

Thanks to support from Proud Mitten Shared Kitchen, Peach and Honey Cake Bars has strategically grown throughout Southeast Michigan. Plus, her bars can now be found in Ohio and the Chicago area too. Marlo loves seeing her clients succeed. “It has been so great watching Peach & Honey flourish from a hyper-local market to a regional area!”

Interested in growing your food business with Proud Mitten Shared Kitchen? Learn more and connect at: www.proudmittenkitchen.com

Peach & Honey Cake Bars can be found throughout SE Michigan at all Westborn Market locations, Plum Market, and many other retail stores. www.peachandhoneybakes.com

Kelly Wilson, RDN is Taste the Local Difference’s Director of Community Partners. She geeks out on cooperative business models and business collaborations and is a huge fan of incubator kitchens. Know other unique food systems collaborations? Send them her way at kelly@localdifference.org.

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