Memphis couple helps local food entrepreneurs start businesses

CORDOVA, Tenn. — Richard and Molly McCracken own Memphis Kitchen Co-op, a community kitchen located off Fischer Steel Road in Cordova.

FOX13 first spoke to the couple in June about the mission behind their kitchen.

The McCrackens said they want to give food entrepreneurs a space to grow their business and also keep them from making mistakes they had made in starting their own business.

Since its opening in July, 16 small businesses now operate out of the kitchen space.

“We have created the community kitchen atmosphere that we wanted to create,” Molly said.

Two businesses using the kitchen include Vegan Goddess, owned by Camri McNary, and Rich Health, owned by Jasmen Richmond. Both started their businesses from their homes and have since upgraded to kitchen space.

McNary told FOX13 moving to the kitchen has made starting her business a smooth process.

“Having this corporate kitchen kind of knocks out a lot of the things. They take care of the licensing, health codes. That makes us as business entrepreneur, new business entrepreneurs, it makes so much more easy and seamless,” said McNary.

Richmond says the mentorship and guidance from the McCrackens is a blessing.

“It’s different when you’re jumping into something that you’re not used to. It’s always amazing and a blessing to have people that can steer you in the right path,” she said.

Anna Netri, owner of Bibby’s Bake, has been using the kitchen for a few months. Netri told FOX13 it has helped her business skyrocket.

“We moved in here a few months ago and this kitchen has really been instrumental in helping us go into prepared and cooked foods. We’ve been able to keep our freezer stuff here and stuff in the coolers. It’s just, our business has quadrupled since we’ve been here,” said Netri.

Outside of just space to cook food, the Memphis Kitchen Co-Op provides another outlet for vendors to make money. The McCrackens created a Marketplace at the front of the kitchen so vendors can sell their products directly to customers.

“We created this marketplace just for them,” Richard said.

Vendors are able to make their product and then place it up front for customers to come in and buy. It’s something that McNary says could be a game changer.

“It adds another level of professionalism,” said McNary.

Along with the space and the marketplace, the McCracken’s say they are in the kitchen every day talking to each business owner, giving advice that spans from recipes to product labeling. Business owners are also able to get help with marketing and social media strategies from the kitchen’s own in-house marketing department, Ruby Red Marketing.

The McCrackens said this helps ensure each business can thrive.

“To see them succeed, really plays into our hearts because we really want them to succeed,” Richard said.

If you want to be a part of the Memphis Kitchen Co-op, email the McCrackens at memphiskitchenco@gmail.com. You can also visit their social media pages @MemphisKitchenCo.