Cooking in The Motley Kitchen

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Mar 11, 2014 - 2:43 PM |
 From left are The Motley Kitchen owners Nathalie Lefebvre, Stephen Caruso, Chris McTaggart and Hilary Duff. Missing is Geoff McCausland. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

From left are The Motley Kitchen owners Nathalie Lefebvre, Stephen Caruso, Chris McTaggart and Hilary Duff. Missing is Geoff McCausland. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Venue designed to give entrepreneurs a start

When The Motley Kitchen opens its doors, it will offer something unique in Sudbury: certified kitchen space available for rental to small-scale businesses.

The facility, to be run out of the former Nibbler's Restaurant on Young Street in downtown Sudbury, is what's known as an incubator kitchen.

Bakers, caterers and other business owners that need access to a kitchen will be able to use equipment they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford, including full-size pizza ovens and a 60-quart mixer.

The venue is co-owned by five Sudburians: Natalie Lefebvre, Stephen Caruso, Chris McTaggart, Geoff McCausland and Hilary Duff.

They're aiming to open by April 1, or at least early this spring.

Caruso, the owner of Iron Pan Bakery, said he got involved in the project because he was having a hard time finding commercial kitchen space for rent. He'll be running his business out of The Motley Kitchen.

“My original plan did not involve having this much equipment for many years, I'll say that,” he said. “The original plan involved much smaller growth. This leapfrogs me forward to being at a capacity to actually make my living at it.”

The idea is catching on — Caruso said he's already been contacted by about 15 business owners interested in renting out the incubator kitchen.

Beyond renting out kitchen space, The Motley Kitchen will also host a lunch bistro, dinner service and be available for rental for special events.

Lefebvre, who has catering experience and helped to run the Dee-Lish Food Truck last summer, will operate the lunch bistro.

McTaggart, the owner of the Speakeasy on Durham Street, will operate the dinner service.

Lefebvre said she'll be offering foods such as sandwiches, soups, salads, hamburgers and deep-fried risotto balls. Patrons will also have the opportunity to purchase some of the food items produced by incubator kitchen tenants.

“I'm very excited,” Lefebvre said. “I can't wait for it to happen ... Cooking is something I really love. This is such a perfect opportunity for me.”

Before any of this happens, though, the business partners have to complete renovations to the restaurant.

Caruso explains that they're expanding the kitchen, which will be visible to visitors. They've also gotten rid of the dropped ceilings and are adding a main-floor washroom. All of this costs money, however.

That's why the venue's owners are reaching out to the public through an Indiegogo campaign, where they're hoping to raise nearly $22,000 to fund the renovations, as well as items such as a point-of-sale system and furniture.

More than $8,000 has already been raised.

As an incentive, they're offering giveaways to those who chip in. For example, those who donate $10 receive a bowl of soup. For $2,000, donors receive a party for 24 people at the venue and a 10 per cent discount card.

Duff, though, hopes that people will donate because they realize the facility's importance, including helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and providing another venue for community events.

Those interested in contributing to The Motley Kitchen are asked to visit www.indiegogo.com and type An incubator kitchen for downtown Sudbury in the search bar.

Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer


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