Lobeck Taylor | Courage
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Written by Robbie Wing, Director of Kitchen 66

On the day Kitchen 66 temporarily closed to adjust to our future in a pandemic, we had just begun our Spring 2020 Launch Program. We had recently selected 10 amazing entrepreneurs who were ready to take the steps towards starting their business. This is a risky feat in any climate but to add in the unknowns of this crisis, moving forward with any new idea requires incredible courage. The Launch Program quickly switched to a virtual model. Holding our weekly sessions through video chats, these entrepreneurs tuned in every week to learn and to develop their businesses. It is now July and the four month program has wrapped up. I am fortunate to say that all 10 of the participants completed the entirety of the program and are in process to getting their health department licenses to become fully legal businesses.

Current circumstances that we are living in have made me reflect on the characteristics of courage. It is very inspiring to me to reflect on this and recognize the choices that the people around me have made to continue moving forward towards fulfilling their goals. In Rollo May’s book, The Courage to Create, he recognizes that “courage is not the absence of despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move forward in spite of despair.” Moving forward in spite of despair is important for me to remember because it requires acknowledgement of what is difficult in our lives and a willingness to work through those difficulties. I truly am not one for succumbing to despair but if there was ever a time for giving into it, it would be now. This is why I am so proud and grateful for the people in my life who serve as reminders of this type of courage.

Since the initial shut down, Kitchen 66 has made several changes to our programs to create a safe working environment for our members while focusing on creating economic opportunities. We have been fortunate to see both our program offerings and our membership grow during this time. Like many restaurants, we made the switch to a curbside pickup model for our Takeover Cafe. Switching to curbside allowed us to expand into our commercial kitchen to test out a “ghost kitchen” where members can pop-up in our commercial kitchen space for curbside and delivery sales. We also have used this time to open up our new Food Truck, the Landmark, which we have developed for the intention of aspiring food truck operators to use to test out their concepts and gain customer feedback.

We have also recently started holding our Info Sessions again for those interested in joining the kitchen. We were unsure what the response would be in these difficult times, embarking on a new business venture might not be possible. But we were overwhelmed with new member applications from very inspiring people who are willing to move forward with their passions and dreams. Be sure to keep a look out for our new members starting in the kitchen and popping up in our Takeover Cafe. 

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