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Community Kitchen Drive Looks for Hispanic Participants

A group hoping to open a shared-use kitchen and business incubator in Champaign-Urbana is making a specific pitch to the Hispanic community.

The Flatlander Community Kitchen project is holding a meeting aimed at Spanish-speaking residents Wednesday, April 6, at the Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park in Champaign.

Flatlander volunteer Laura Huth says the meeting is part of their effort to reach potential entrepreneurs who would benefit from access to a certified commercial kitchen.

"One of our volunteers happens to be a fluent Spanish-speaker -- she's bilingual -- and she stepped up and said, 'I'd like to help and this is what I can do," Huth said. "And so we decided to start with the Spanish-speaking session, and then we're going to add on other different language sessions moving forward."

Huth says they are publicizing the meeting through flyers and word-of-mouth. She says owners of two area Mexican restaurant chains -- El Toro and La Bamba -- have shown a lot of interest in the project.

"They see this as a huge opportunity for their ethnic community to take some of their business ideas that currently aren't really being realized, and being able to provide job opportunities for people in the community," Huth said.

The Flatlander Community Kitchen is the brainchild of local chocolate-maker Daniel Schreiber, who died last year. The project is still in the planning stages, as its organizers seek out backers, potential users, and a site for the kitchen. Huth says they hope the opening of a non-profit community kitchen will encourage more locally-produced goods in Champaign-Urbana and create jobs.

Flatlander's Spanish-language meeting is set to begin at 7:00 Wednesday night, in the Schoolhouse facility just inside the Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park, 1600 North Market Street in Champaign.

Categories: Business, Community