Communal kitchen spaces can be hard to come by in Canada and even more-so in any city's downtown core. So, I think it's fair to consider Winnipeg one of the lucky spots that offers a premium commissary kitchen right in the heart of The Exchange district of downtown.
“I started Kitchen Sync because I felt like there was something missing in the whole food chain here in Winnipeg. People needed a licensed kitchen to produce their products," explains Sheila Bennett. “And, for me, it was a little selfish because I like to keep abreast of everything that’s going on. It was an opportunity to be attached to the food scene in a real way.”
Bennett's operation not only encourages small businesses to flourish, providing them with the resources they need. The kitchen here is virtually brand new: gas burners, convection ovens, all the necessary tools, trays and accoutrements one would need for most culinary creations. Having personally used it myself earlier this year to prepare for some cooking engagements in the city, I can speak to its steel, shiny and slick appeal. The room itself is also notable, being in a 100+ year-old heritage building, the entire interior has plenty of natural light coming from street-facing windows.
"I had looked for a space for a very long time," explains Bennett. "This one came to my attention and it was about twice the [size] that I was looking for, but after a couple of visits, I fell in love with what it had to offer. It’s a brand new business and a brand new kitchen in a beautiful historical building. What a beautiful marriage!"
The space has also seen lot of success due to its layout that also offers a separate presentation kitchen, as well as tables and chairs for restaurant-like seating. This allows Kitchen Sync to also operate as an ideal place for pop-up restaurant events. Chefs who are travelling through Winnipeg, sans-restaurants or looking to do something little more interesting outside of their regular day-to-day jobs can reserve the space and sell tickets to family, friends and local food lovers alike.
“Being able to be a part of other people’s dreams is the coolest thing about running this business," says Bennett. "This is my dream and this is my small business and [me doing well] is a result of other small businesses doing well. It's amazing when you look at it that way!”
Using Kitchen Sync will run you about $18 per hour overnight (between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.) and $22-28 per hour during the day.