Mission Kitchen – the London shared kitchen business that operates 16,000 square feet of catering space – says that sourcing suitable refrigeration for such a vast operation was one of the challenges it had to get right from the outset.
The organisation styles itself as a ‘light kitchen’ as opposed to a dark kitchen and aims to build a community enabling people to work together.
Co-founder Charlie Gent explained: “Food start-ups face a lot of challenges. We set up Mission to reduce the barriers they face by providing them with flexible access to kitchens and working spaces, in a way that allows them to share knowledge and build connections.”
Since it opened its doors in June, Mission Kitchen has supported more than 50 independent businesses with kitchen space and business support.
As with any professional kitchen, refrigeration plays a vital role. However, unlike kitchens designed around a single operation, Mission Kitchen supports businesses with a variety of production methods.
“Our clients have a range of refrigeration requirements, from temporary cold holding to blast freezing,” said Mr Gent. “We knew we would need reliable and powerful equipment to meet their needs.”
Clients at Mission include Chloe Stewart of Nibs Etc, who produces snacks using upcycled food surplus from the juice industry, and Eli Ovia from Eli & Pie, who creates pies and a range of pastry snacks for markets, festivals and events.
But with many other clients working alongside each other, each with their own needs, Mission Kitchen needed a wide selection of equipment and chose Williams Refrigeration for the job.
“Before joining Mission, many of our clients have been working from their home kitchens, or working out of other businesses kitchens. They may not have had access to high quality, high volume equipment,” said Mr Gent. “Mission Kitchen and the equipment here lets them scale up their production and grow their business more quickly.”
Mission offers shared and private serviced kitchens, along with a development kitchen and storage space.
Every private kitchen features dedicated Amber A135 undercounter units, a selection of Jade upright refrigerators and freezers that provide storage of ingredients, as well as a blast chiller and cooking suite.
“Our rented private kitchens provide users with everything they need in one space,” said Mr Gent. “This allows them to work at their own pace without having to share equipment with other users in the public workspaces.”
Mission Kitchen also features a number of blast chiller/freezer models, each with a capacity of 30kg, and a variety of Amber undercounter units in either refrigerator or freezer operation. The blast chillers have been in such high demand that the business is planning to buy more.
“The Williams Blast Chiller/Freezers are working brilliantly,” said Mr Gent. “As well as helping members who make frozen products, they also allow others to build up larger amounts of stock to meet specific orders, without compromising on quality.”
The units allow clients to chill or freeze their meals down to required temperature and regenerate quickly.
“Given the tight schedules some clients have to work to, the blast chillers/freezers help them to work at a quicker pace and meet their deadlines.”
Helping its clients to grow sustainably is very important to Mission Kitchen, in both business and environmental terms.
“Our project has been set up to have a positive impact on the world – both from a social aspect, allowing businesses to get a foothold, but also encouraging them to embed sustainable practices at an early stage to help them limit their environmental impact,” said Mr Gent.
Williams’ commitment to developing and improving the environmental credentials of its products was another important consideration for Mission Kitchen.
“The new models we have use eco friendly refrigerants and are very energy efficient,” said Gent. “As refrigeration equipment is always operating, anything that helps to decrease resource use helps us improve Mission Kitchen’s sustainability, at the same time as lowering running costs.”