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UpStart Kitchen helps local food entrepreneurs start and grow their business

"The growth is exciting."
Posted at 6:24 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 19:24:26-05

MILWAUKEE — We've all heard of the saying, "food is the key to my heart."

In the Sherman Park neighborhood, a food business is helping entrepreneurs reach their dreams.

When you walk inside UpStart Kitchen, you see top of the line cooking equipment and a food entrepreneurs dream.

Prism Economic Development Corporation (EDC) was founded in 201, by the Parklawn Assembly of God Church with the goal of bringing opportunity to residents of Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood.

Prism EDC's first initiative was the development and operation of UpStart Kitchen.

UpStart Kitchen opened in June of 2020, and provides entrepreneurs a place to grow or start their food business without the overhead cost of opening a space of their own.

"Being able to come into a licensed facility and have the space and tools to be able to scale up has been great," said Tomira White, Owner of Delicious Bites.

White has been baking out of her home for more than 10 years. All that changed once she saw an advertisement about UpStart Kitchen.

TMJ4's Ubah Ali asked White how hard it has been to break into food industry.

"It's been somewhat of a challenge, but not so much," White said. "I can say I'm loved and supported."

She said the space allows her to bounce ideas off other entrepreneurs and experts, such as Chef Michael Feker. Feker is a 27-year-veteran in the restaurant industry.

"I'm a pusher of food flavor, so the more flavor soldiers I have, the happier I'm going to be," Feker smiled.

He teaches entrepreneurs with licensing among other things, all with the goal of propelling them.

"I teach them what they need to know at that level and get them ready to move up to the next level," Feker said.

He is currently working with five entrepreneurs and said more than 300 people are on the wait-list.

He said it is exciting to work with people from different backgrounds and help them hone in on their skills.

White plans to take what she has learned and open a brick and mortar store on Milwaukee's north side, but for now will rely on UpStart's Kitchen.

"Being able to come here and crank out 500 cookies in 10 minutes is going to be helpful," White said.

Her store is located at 6538 W. North Ave and will be open soon.

If you would like to learn more about Delicious Bites, click here.

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