In an age of co-ops and shared work spaces, the next logical step for father-son duo Jon and Bill Lamb was a shared kitchen concept. Enter: Your Pro Kitchen.
Your Pro Kitchen, a company based out of Florida, capitalized on many chefs' needs for a commercial kitchen without the hefty bills that come along with them. To help the problem, Your Pro Kitchen offers professionally equipped, commercially licensed multi-station kitchen facilities for professional cooking and baking. Since starting the company, Your Pro Kitchen has grown to include eight locations with three more opening soon, one of which will be right here in Little Rock.
Jon Lamb, an avid chef with 20 years of experience, became interested in a shared kitchen concept after realizing his own need for one. Jon and his wife Victoria wanted to start a catering business, but didn't want to suffer financially from the high cost of owning a commercial kitchen. After some research, Jon came across Your Pro Kitchen and decided to become a franchisee.
He took the idea to his father, Bill, and after the two visited Your Pro Kitchen in Florida, he was fully on board. His role at Your Pro Kitchen Little Rock will be as an investor and overseer while Jon runs the day-to-day operations.
When it came to finding a location for Your Pro Kitchen Little Rock, Jon says it was tough. They needed something centrally located and close to I-40 and 630. They struck gold with the old Milford Track & Gym location at 9813 West Markham St. Suite B. The location is located behind Fuller & Sons Hardware and provides enough room for food trucks and large catering vans to easily load and unload food.
"Finding the right landlord that understood the concept was important to us, and we found that with our location," Jon says.
The kitchen itself will feature typical commercial appliences that keep chefs from shouldering the cost. In addition, there will be a gluten-free kitchen separate from the other areas, classrooms, business centers, on-site storage for dry goods and the ability to bring in fridges for cold storage. The kitchen will be open 24/7 and will be accessed by key pad, perfect for chefs needing an early morning start to prep for a big breakfast.
Jon says he'll target business-minded entrepreneurs to populate Your Pro Kitchen Little Rock, as well as new chefs just out of Pulaski Tech who might not have the capital to open their own kitchen right away. They'll also welcome people who may be looking to start a catering business, or those who just like cooking as a hobby.
"It's something new," Jon says. "And it's a new way to look at businesses. It's a way for new ideas to grow, ideas that may have been stifled in the past."
Jon and Bill hope to have Your Pro Kitchen Little Rock open by the end of May or early June. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for more information on the grand opening.