Millstone Kitchen has announced that Katherine and William Harris of Beyond the Pail and Jud Flynn of On Site Culinary Solutions have each been awarded $5,000 to start or expand their Blacksburg-based businesses. The money is the prize for winning the From Scratch entrepreneurship business awards.
Despite the delay in culminating the From Scratch competition and a host of uncertainty due to the onset of COVID-19, the entrepreneurs remain optimistic. “Things are looking up,” said. Flynn. “We are ready to evolve and respond to the market as things continue to open.” Flynn will use the funds to purchase catering equipment to expand his existing culinary training business to handle event requests.
The Harrises are excited to get their food truck operational. “We were ready to go before all this happened,” William Harris said. “Now we are just waiting for people to come back.” Both award winners hope to use their funds to gear up as soon as possible. Their operations will be based at the Millstone Kitchen.
From Scratch was a free course for aspiring entrepreneurs, hosted at Millstone Kitchen, through which industry professionals shared their expertise on business planning strategies, food safety requirements, legal parameters, marketing ideas, and finance options. The class was fully booked with 39 participants, seven of which submitted business plans to be judged by a committee for awards.
In addition to the two major awards, other ‘From Scratch’ participants are eligible for hundreds of dollars in reimbursement funds to cover the cost of kitchen applications, business licenses, Department of Health inspections, ServSafe certifications, or liability insurance. Many other participants hope to launch their businesses this year.
Millstone Kitchen is a shared-use commercial kitchen in Blacksburg operated by the nonprofit, Live Work Eat Gather, Inc. The mission of Live, Work, Eat, Gather, Inc., is to cultivate and nourish the local community through the support of local food and farms, the creation and growth of jobs, the security of a home, and the gathering of friends and neighbors.