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Salt Lake City Moves Forward with Incubator Kitchen

The Salt Lake City Council last night approved funding for a catering kitchen at The Leonardo.  The council also set aside some additional money for a potential incubator kitchen, which may or may not be located in the Leonardo. 

A catering kitchen had always been part of the Leonardo's renovation plan, but was never finished before the building opened in 2011. The council agreed on Tuesday to appropriate $250,000 out of the Capital Improvement Program to complete the renovation. But the money for a so-called incubator kitchen, where local entrepreneurs could hone their skills in the kitchen, will have to come later. The city will award an additional $100,000 upon a successful partnership agreement with an incubator organization. That additional money would be available to the Leonardo or any other entity interested in starting an incubator kitchen. Council chairman Kyle LaMalfa says it's enough of an investment to make the Leonardo successful....

“But adding a bonus to help the city achieve our goals in terms of an incubator kitchen and community engagement and building food entrepreneurship in our city," LaMalfa said.

Lisa Davis is a spokeswoman for The Leonardo. She says her organization is interested in working with the city to find a partner.

“We could not just share space but do joint programming, joint events, joint public activities and make this so much more than just a land lord, or just a commercial kitchen space," Davis said.

Salt Lake City's Food Policy Task Force will be exploring partners for the incubator kitchen as well as development of its use and design. The $100,000 will be used, in combination with private funds raised.

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