A kitchen-for-rent has opened in Plano that aims to help bakers and other food artisans by giving them a place to do what they do. Called Perfect Temper, it comes from Sander Wolf, founder of the annual Dallas Chocolate Festival, which is where he learned of the need for such a thing.
"Ever since I began doing the Chocolate Festival, I'd meet all these artists who wanted to make chocolate," Wolf says. "One of their biggest struggles is that they don't have a clean, secure place to make their product. There are many places like Central Market or Scardello Cheese that would be happy to sell whatever they make. But it's not enough for someone to build their own kitchen, which can get very expensive."
The artisanal movement has been on the rise, especially since the Texas Food Cottage Law, which oversees home bakers and other small-scale food makers, was loosened last year. Some catering companies and the random restaurant will rent out their kitchens on a short-term basis; that's how Hypnotic Donuts came into being, by using kitchen space at a pizzeria during off hours. But there are few actual kitchens-for-rent, such as Hour Kitchen in Garland or Elixir in Fort Worth.
Wolf has been looking for a couple of years, and was considering buying a building when he discovered the former doughnut shop at 6900 Alma Dr. in Plano. It came with many costly basics such a grease trap and a vent-a-hood, as well as doughnut-making equipment, some of which he's sold to Hypnotic.
"The sign still says 'donuts'," he says. "People have been coming in and asking if we have doughnuts."
Wolf, who does the festival in his spare time, has a regular day job that he says he will still keep. "I already have a list of people who have come to me from the chocolate festival and said, 'I want to teach classes, I want to make food.'" he says. "So it wasn't a total risk."
That said, he would like to make a profit. "This is not a charity thing," he says. "If I can be in a position to help them and make a little bit of money, that would be good. But I love eating the food, I love seeing what people do. This is the root of small business: a one-person operation starting these businesses on their own."