Brooke Hockett that is; newlywed, college student, and entrepreneur. Perhaps you've met or seen her at one of the many art festivals in eastern South Dakota or running to class or to work. She is a busy girl and loving every minute of it.
Brooke is the designer and owner of Brooke Co. What started out as a hobby as she made gifts for friends and family, her talent soon had people seeing what she was capable of and Brooke Co. was born. Brooke is a small town girl that has talent pouring out of every pore. She loves her rural beginnings and never wants to leave and in a way that part of her is included in the products she creates. She's a lover also of supporting local and strives to encourage and desire to see her rural community progress.
Brooke puts love, devotion and care into each product that she makes. Hand painting and hand-scripting each quote without stencils or vinyl and making signs from real wood, her products are authentically made. Her T-shirts, pillows and more too are hand-scripted, then screen-printed in her studio as well. Not stopping with individual sales, Brooke also welcomes wholesale and custom orders.
Brooke is an outstanding young lady and everyone that knows her loves her. Her passion for life exudes from every pore and her zest for what is real and genuine radiates from her including her faith. Brooke loves what she is doing and is thrilled to be kicking off her new website Brookecohome.com
I've given you a peek into Brooke Hockett's story here, but check out her website for her products and look for her on Facebook as well. You'll enjoy the journey!!
Deuel Community Kitchen (Toronto, SD) - A Kitchen Incubator Story
Incubators can help a small community and food producers because they are designed to grow business!
Incubators make it financially possible for a start-up food manufacturer to take advantage of available professional kitchen space while they grow their business. This commercial kitchen facility is available to producers and packagers of specialty and gourmet food, caterers, and individual chefs that want to get their special recipe off and running. Those individuals who want to take a special recipe to market or create a food or natural resource business will want to consider the use of this kitchen. A kitchen is for start-ups and existing food processors.
Most start-up food enterprises begin in a home kitchen. But the home kitchen becomes a liability because of special licensing that is required and laws that prevent the home kitchen recipe when it goes to the marketplace. Legally then the start-up food enterprise must manufacture their product from a professional kitchen. This is where a kitchen incubator comes in. Chefs (user of a kitchen) will be able to offer long or short-term leases at reasonable rates on a flexible time-share basis. Food entrepreneurs become ‘legal’ by working in this certified kitchen space because it, in turn, can be inspected more easily.
Available to use are professional standard ovens, refrigerators, mixers, food processors, storage space, worktables, pots and pans, utensils and locked storage space. This professional space will have a list of requirements in using the space, but also guidelines that will need to be followed when using the kitchen. The entrepreneurs enter into an agreement with the facility, with each other and in this case with the non-profit Deuel Area Development (DADi) that began the incubator. Using a kitchen incubator is a relatively new concept and definitely in a rural setting.
The DCK began with a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant. With the help of DADi and assistance of Dakota Rural Action and Deubrook School District the Deuel Community Kitchen came to fruition.
Once a product is ready for marketing, the producer can help with a business plan and making connections with the Small Business Development Centers. It is the hope of USDA Rural Development that other small communities with available licensed kitchens can use DCK as a model. Other items to consider when starting a kitchen: location to 'chefs', insurance, Serv-Safe licensing, labeling, kitchen inspections and licensing, Department of Health regulations, kitchen's availability, potential users, marketing and determination, community awareness, and marketing.