Williams helps Mission deliver flexible kitchen workspace
New “light kitchen” helps London food entrepreneurs build their businesses
Based in New Covent Garden Market, Mission Kitchen is a shared 16.000ft kitchen workspace supporting new food businesses and entrepreneurs. Styling itself as a “light kitchen” in opposition to dark kitchens, Mission aims to build a community enabling people to work together.
“Food start-ups face a lot of challenges,” says co-founder Charlie Gent. “We set up Mission to reduce the barriers they face by providing them with flexible access to kitchens and working spaces, in a way that allows them to share knowledge and build connections.”
Since it opened its doors in June, Mission Kitchen has supported more than 50 independent businesses with kitchen space and business support. As with any professional kitchen, refrigeration plays a vital role. However, unlike kitchens designed around a single operation, Mission Kitchen supports businesses with a variety of production methods. “Our clients have a range of refrigeration requirements, from temporary cold holding to blast freezing,” says Charlie. “We knew we would need reliable and powerful equipment to meet their needs. Williams Refrigeration were the obvious choice.”
Clients at Mission include Chloë Stewart of Nibs Etc, who produces snacks using upcycled food surplus from the juice industry, and Eli Ovia from Eli & Pie, who creates pies and a range of pastry snacks which he sells at markets, festivals and events. But with many other clients working alongside each other, each with their own needs, Mission Kitchen needed a wide selection of equipment from across Williams’ product ranges.
“Before joining Mission, many of our clients have been working from their home kitchens, or working out of other businesses kitchens. They may not have had access to high quality, high volume equipment,” says Charlie. “Mission Kitchen and the equipment here lets them scale up their production and grow their business more quickly.”
Mission offers shared and private serviced kitchens, along with a development kitchen and storage space. Every private kitchen features dedicated Amber A135 undercounter units, a selection of Jade upright refrigerators and freezers that provide storage of ingredients, as well as a blast chiller and cooking suite. “Our rented private kitchens provide users with everything they need in one space,” says Charlie. “This allows them to work at their own pace without having to share equipment with other users in the public workspaces.”
Williams equipment at Mission Kitchen includes a selection of popular Jade upright fridges and freezers in double door configuration, as well as gastronorm counter units. Furthermore, Mission Kitchen features a number of blast chiller/freezer models, each with a capacity of 30kg, and a variety of Amber undercounter units in either refrigerator or freezer operation.
All Williams products are constructed from stainless steel which is easily able to handle life in a commercial kitchen. “Williams have a reputation for the robustness of their products,” says Charlie. “Given how busy Mission Kitchen can get, the decision to go with Williams equipment was a no brainer.”
The powerful refrigeration systems are controlled by Williams’ CoolSmart system, which guarantees safe operating temperatures are maintained up to ambient temperatures of 43°C.
The Williams equipment has been “very popular”, especially the Blast Chiller/Freezer models, as Charlie highlights. “The Williams Blast Chiller/Freezers are working brilliantly. As well as helping members who make frozen products, they also allow others to build up larger amounts of stock to meet specific orders, without compromising on quality.” These units allow clients to chill or freeze their meals down to required temperature and regenerate quickly. “Given the tight schedules some clients have to work to, the blast chillers/freezers help them to work at a quicker pace and meet their deadlines.”
Helping its clients to grow sustainably is very important to Mission Kitchen, in both business and environmental terms. “Our project has been set up to have a positive impact on the world,” says Charlie. “Both from a social aspect, allowing businesses to get a foothold, but also encouraging them to embed sustainable practices at an early stage to help them limit their environmental impact.”
Williams’ commitment to developing and improving the environmental credentials of its products was another important consideration for Mission Kitchen. “The new models we have use eco friendly refrigerants and are very energy efficient,” says Charlie. “As refrigeration equipment is always operating, anything that helps to decrease resource use helps us improve Mission Kitchen’s sustainability, at the same time as lowering running costs!”
Williams helped Mission Kitchen to complete the full installation within just two weeks. “After a long construction period, we only had a few weeks for the final fit out,” says Charlie. “As we had businesses lining up to get started, we didn’t have the option to push the launch date back.”
The project was designed by Tricon Foodservice Consultants. Williams worked closely with Collaborative Catering Projects, who helped to manage the project and procured the equipment needed for the launch. “Williams were more than able to meet the tight deadlines we had and went the extra mile to ensure we had the kit we needed, delivered on time.”
The support has continued since Mission opened. “The team at Williams have visited a few times now to make sure everything is working correctly and to get a better understanding of our future requirements,” says Charlie. “We’re already looking to add more equipment, particularly more blast chiller /freezers as they’re in especially high demand. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Williams for our refrigeration needs!”