MANSFIELD -- Big plans are in store for the former Caldwell & Bloor Company building.
The space, at 80 W. Third St., is located between the Mansfield Metropolitan Housing Authority and the Richland Area Chamber and Economic Development. The facility is expected to be transformed into the Caldwell Entrepreneurs' Kitchen + Marketplace by late 2020.
On Tuesday night, those who attended a community forum had a chance to see the space in advance. Though the rooms were bare, floor plans and other drawings by the project's architect Matthew Stanfield were displayed to show its potential.
Korinna Goettel, director of operations for both the current and coming Entrepreneurs’ Kitchen, believes the new location will accommodate at least 10 businesses in the kitchen at a time. This compares to the four (at most) that have ever concurrently shared the kitchen’s existing space on the lower floor of the Barrington One Building
The 4,000-square foot first floor of the Third Street building will include a co-working kitchen, a gluten-free kitchen, a demonstration kitchen, pop-up restaurant, storage space and more.
The similar-sized basement will be used as an aggregator for microfarms and the rooftop will be made to include rooftop seating and a garden.
“It’s a really big space of course. And there’s potential for lots of cool things on the second and third floor,” Goettel said.
How those floors will be used hasn’t been determined yet, but apartments were one suggested purpose. As people funneled into Idea Works Thursday afternoon, Goettel felt energized.
“As I saw people coming in -- not only people that I knew, but new faces -- I got really excited about that,” she said.
She believes with a larger facility, the Entrepreneurs’ Kitchen will continually gain momentum and attract unique food businesses. The space might be a good fit for catering services, food truck operators, bakeries, meal services, food delivery, pop ups, carry out providers and even for those who need space to package food.
It will likely be accessible at all times so entrepreneurs can use the space at their convenience.
Leslie Schaller of The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks also spoke Tuesday evening. An expert in shared kitchens, she expressed excitement for the Mansfield project and a belief in the project’s potential, as she’s seen the center’s co-working kitchens succeed by drawing in numerous and diverse businesses.
“One of our farmers grows ginger and makes pickled ginger in our kitchen,” she said.
Others make jams, run bakeries or package goat milk chocolate bars.
Within the next few months, Goettel hopes to see progress on the former Caldwell building’s exterior. This will include roof work, new windows and doors. Inside, elevators will be installed as well.
“The things that are going on in this town just have me so excited, so that I get to be a part of it, I’m really, really happy,” she said.
Goettel encouraged anyone interested in the space to reach out to her at 419-610-2413 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.