Earth Notes: Prescott’s Community Kitchen
For years the Prescott Farmers Market has been known as a place to get fresh, local produce. But organizers have been working on another way to cultivate their community: The NoCo Community Kitchen, so named for its location on North Cortez Street. It’s the first of its kind in Yavapai County.
The facility offers local food producers, entrepreneurs, and community groups the opportunity to create in a fully equipped, professional-grade kitchen. The idea is to promote the development of locally grown and produced products that can both feed local people and germinate new businesses.
The kitchen is equipped with commercial-grade stoves and ovens, and a mixer, as well as cold and dry storage. But it’s also paired with a business incubator training program. This means that Prescott-area entrepreneurs who use the kitchen can receive training in business skills and use a network of local professionals to bolster their small businesses. For example, they can team up to buy ingredients in bulk at lower prices.
Organizers envision the kitchen as one step toward increasing access to local food, which can help both the economy and the environment. Local food doesn’t have to travel as far to arrive on your plate, so it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also directly supports local entrepreneurs and farmers.
The community kitchen was first conceived in 2021, and opened this fall. Organizers envision that it will soon be supporting up to about 30 separate local enterprises: preparing food and growing community.
This Earth Note was written by Izzy Fraser-Milewsky and produced by KNAU and the Sustainable Communities Program at Northern Arizona University.