Proposal for a commercial community kitchen at Unitarian Place

2018 Update

The proposal described below is still under consideration, but is currently on hold as it turned out not to be eligible for the anticipated sources of funding and the Fellowship needs to reconsider its options.”


The Innovation Team currently consists of Gordon Darrall (chair), Susan Young (secretary), Elaine Peterson, Charlene Horwood, Keith Gawronski, Darcy McNinch, Jim Robins, John Johnson and Reverend Carol Strecker. Over the past year, we have been investigating the feasibility of developing a community commercial kitchen on the main floor of Unitarian Place.   We now have two kitchens in the building, but neither is equipped nor approved to prepare hot food. Since the purchase of the building, there has been talk about the need for a kitchen, but the possible parameters have never been investigated. From our investigation we conclude that a community commercial kitchen would provide many benefits to KUF, the local Williamsville and Kingscourt communities and the larger Kingston Community.


KUF would benefit both the congregation and the community by investing in a community kitchen:

  • Coffee hour after service could move downstairs and the congestion outside the sanctuary would be reduced. Shared lunches or soup lunches could easily be served from this kitchen. Christmas dinner or any congregational meal could be completely prepared and served here.
  • Program possibilities: children’s Religious Education cooking activities; Youth conferences; lunch activities for seniors; community education/cooking classes; a meet and greet our minister café on Thursdays.
  • Increased revenue for KUF through the rental of the kitchen and/or other space in the building. (more about this later)
  • Inreasing KUF’s outreach and visibility in the community: Local Food Development and Food Sustainability are important concepts for many people in both our KUF community and the larger Kingston community, particularly among younger people. As a member of Sustainable Kingston this proposal aligns with those goals. Unitarian Place has several assets that give us an advantage in developing as a community Food Hub. We have a central location close to the Memorial Centre Market; we have ample parking, a loading dock and more space than we need for the congregation’s use. Other churches are developing “Brands” beyond being centres for religious worship – Sydenham Street United is now “The Spire”….
  • Finally, the last part of our Mission Statement states, “we strive to make our world a better place through our actions”. Using our resources to develop a community kitchen is an action that would provide community outreach and grow our presence in the community.

Further, Unitarian Place has a steady rental of space for birthday parties, showers, anniversaries, weddings, memorial services and meetings. Beth Pater calculated the number of rental days -120 in 2014; 128 in 2015 and 79 in 2016. There is definitely a need for rental space in this area. It seems that we do not need any more rentals, but we could improve the facility for these people.

Many of these rentals might only want a room, but many events would require a kitchen for the preparation of food by a caterer or the renter themselves. A kitchen would add value to our rental space.

A group that would benefit from a community kitchen are non-profit Community Organizations that would use a suitable kitchen and demonstration space to offer food sharing groups; cooking classes and other events that are food related for their particular clients.

Finally we could help to address a shortage of space for food entrepreneurs. Food entrepreneurs include caterers, cooking class teachers, culinary students, small businesses, farmers and individuals producing a food product.   The document presented to the Innovation Team by Andrew Bacchus from KEDCO, states;

“There is a serious shortage of commercial kitchen space available for rent in Kingston. None of the entrepreneurs surveyed (in autumn 2016) said that they were satisfied with their current arrangements. This included new entrepreneurs as well as established chefs and caterers.

A survey found only two kitchens available for rent on a regular basis. The Royal Kingston Curling Club has a commercial kitchen available for rent on a case-by-case basis, but they have limited time slots available… The RCAF Association 416 has a Clubhouse with a prep kitchen for rent, with greater availability than the Curling Club, but is not a full commercial kitchen.”


The Innovation Team has completed a needs assessment in two phases in 2016:

  1. A survey was distributed with 30 responses.
  2. A community meeting in November with 14 people representing chefs, food producers, small businesses and cooking teachers. The response for a kitchen at Unitarian Place was very positive.


The recommendation of the Innovation Team is to start with a basic commercial kitchen and if there is enough interest and revenue, then we expand within that space and/or expand into other spaces with our building. (more information under FAQ).

The information that follows is a tentative kitchen design with a list of possible equipment, both large and small. In order to make any decisions about the feasibility of a community commercial kitchen at Unitarian Place, we needed a base plan from which to work.

Kitchen Design (draft)

If this project is approved then it would be essential for a group of KUF members, potential users and experts to design the final details of the kitchen. This work would need to be done in conjunction with grant writing and fundraising. (See Next Steps)

This is a draft kitchen design with a list of possible equipment, large and small, that gives us a base to work from for finding estimates for construct and equipment. It also gives us a base design to show members of KUF, community groups and food entrepreneurs for their feedback. The final design would be within these parameters, but the details could change.

The kitchen would be located on the first floor of Unitarian Place in the space that was designated for a kitchen in the original plans for KUF. There are three sections to the kitchen.

Dishwashing – this is located at the end where there is already water and sewer pipes. It would include the installation of a hand-washing sink immediately inside the kitchen. There would also be room for a dishwasher and sinks. A 3 section sink is not required if there is a dishwasher, but two other sinks would be for washing a few dishes and pots, and food preparation. A floor drain is not required, but recommended in case there is a water pipe breakage, or overflow.

Food Preparation

On the east wall there would be a ten foot exhaust hood with fan and fire suppression equipment. The existing ductwork, which is not needed, would be removed. The budget includes one 6 burner gas stove, but there would be room for a second stove under the hood. Between the main hall and the kitchen, there would be a counter with a pass-through. This could be used for coffee hour after Sunday service. There would be a door at this end of the kitchen. Along the west side of the kitchen would be a counter with a pass-through door. This could be used as prep space with people working on both sides, or as a place to put food out for KUF pot luck. Dishes and cutlery would be stored in carts below. At the end of this counter would be another door into the kitchen. Separating the dishwashing and food prep area would be a moveable work table.   A second bank of lights would be installed the length of kitchen. There would be no food stored in this area.


On the west side of the hallway, between the front of the building and the back, there would be storage. Closest to the door would be a space for garbage and recycling, then there would be an commercial refrigerator, included in the budget. The remainder of this wall would be a counter (not stainless steel) where crock posts could be plugged in for a soup lunch. Above and below the counter, there would be storage. Some of these would be for KUF but some could also be rented out to food entrepreneurs or community groups using the kitchen on a regular basis. The kitchen walls would not go entirely to the ceiling, so that it is not considered a separate room requiring the re-design of our fire alarm system. The doors and pass-through would be lockable.


The final design for the kitchen and equipment list would be done in conjunction with grant writing. The budget has approximately $20,000 included for changes in the designated space. The potential for expansion at a later date, ie. Freezer storage space; walk-in refrigeration, food packaging space, would be in another part of the building and require additional funding. See FAQ page.

Proposed Budget

Quote to Install new kitchen

Prepared with assistance from Bruce Downey, architect and Joe Ruffolo, General Manager, KB Homes Ltd. (Amounts have been changed from original quote as modifications were made.)

  1. New gas line to a new stove $ 1 000
  2. Build and install 46’ stainless shelving along south and west side($250/ft) $11 500
  3. Stainless Steel countertops $14 000
  4. Two doors, with locksets, installed $   800
  5. 20 feet of counter and shelving along walkway ($150/ft) $ 3000
  6. 10’ hood and suppression system $ 8000
  7. Supply and install stainless sinks and taps and new dishwasher $5 000
  8. New electrical – 10 outlets and another bank of lights, subpanel for kitchen $4 000
  9. Extra plumbing (floor drain) and construction work $3 000
  10. Upper and lower cabinets on west wall $5 000
  11. Painting $1 500
  12. Odds and ends                                                                         $ 5 000

Total                                                                                                                                                                                           $61 300

Architect’s fee   12%                                                                                                                                                       $ 7 350

HST     13%                                                                                                                                                                              $ 8 138

*Building permit                                                                                                                                                                $1 400

Total                                                                                                                                                                                           $78 188

* City requires a building permit which includes this approval. Cost is about $1400 based on $95K cost. Permit involves much detail: sources of water, sewage disposal, garbage storage and parking, scale building plan with all rooms, food prep, dish cleaning, washrooms, lockers, wall and ceiling finish, janitorial facility, equipment plan, and “menu selection”.

Quote for large Kitchen appliancesPrepared by Christian De Josselin De Jong at Russell Hendrix Foodservice Equipment

  1. 6 Burner Natural Gas Range (Garland) $2, 950
  2. True Two Door Cooler $3, 400

3a. Hobart Undercounter Dishwasher                                                                                                             $6, 600

3b. Champion Upright Dishwasher                                                                                                                     $7, 800

3c. Triple Pot sink                                                                                                                                                             $   850

Total with undercounter dishwasher                                                             $12, 950 plus HST= $14,633

Total with upright dishwasher                                                                            $14, 150 plus HST=$15,989

Total with triple sink only                                                                                      $ 7, 200 plus HST=$8, 136

Grand Total (depending on which dishwashing option)                    $74 074… $80, 571… $81, 927

Optional Kitchen Items (source unlisted)

These items would change it from just a KUF kitchen to a commercial rental kitchen.

Hobart mixer                                                           $7412

Food processor                                                                        $ 560

Small mixer                                                               $ 800

Large immersion blender                               $ 358

Microwave                                                                $ 654

32 quart stock pot                                                $ 220

10 Sheet pans 18×26                                          $ 110

10 Bus pans 20x15x5                                         $ 55

Rolling Tray Rack                                                   $ 197

8 Dishwasher trays                                             $ 208

5 Chef knives                                                            $ 140

5 Paring knives                                                       $   30

Small items –flippers, whisks, etc.           $ 400

10 Cutting boards                                                 $ 230

2 Rolling carts for dishes                                 $ 800

Dolly for tables                                                                         $ 400

2 Garbage cans                                                                        $   40

10 plastic storage containers                      $ 100

Total                                                                               $12 714 + $1652 HST = $14 366

Total Project costs

– Renovations                                                                                                                                 $78, 188

-Large Appliances   (incl. undercounter dishwasher)                                          $14, 633

– optional kitchen items                                                                                                           $14, 366

**- changes and additions                                                                                                      $20 000

$127 187

**Note:   $20 000 is added to the budget, under ‘changes and additions’ because now that we have a ‘tentative design’ and we talk to more people, some with commercial kitchen experience, we are getting some good suggestions for design changes and equipment.   Any changes in kitchen design or equipment would be included before applying for grants.

Kitchen income

A KUF Scenario –based on information from the several sources – KEDCOs’s study- Kingston Frontenac Agrihoods; Two Rivers Food Hub, Smith Falls, Toronto Rental rates for kitchens; Greensgrow Community Kitchen , Philadephia

2 anchor tenants who commit to 300hrs/ a year @ $15/ hour = $4500 x2 = $ 9 000

3 anchor tenants who commit to 100hrs/year @ $20/ hour = $2000 x 3 = $6 000

10 tenants who commit to   25hour/year @$25/hour = $625 x 10= $6 250

25 occasional renters for 3hours @$30/hour = $90 x 25= $4 250

Total Income= $ 25 500 per year

The rates would be set by a team developing rental policies for the kitchen. In this scenario, there are 1225 kitchen rental hours in the year or 23.5 rental hours/month. Many of these hours could be used in off-peak times (9pm – 9am) by food entrepreneurs or caterers who are preparing food for retail or a next day event.   Some would be in conjunction with the rental of the first floor space for an event.   Scheduling policy would be determined by the Policy Team and administered by the Kitchen Coordinator.

Kitchen Operation

Kitchen coordinator

We need to ensure the kitchen is fully utilized. This will take time and energy.

We need to find the funds for a “kitchen coordinator” for the first year.  The role of this person would be to help establish operating protocols, manage rental schedules, market the kitchen to entrepreneurs and community groups, develop a variety of kitchen activities for KUF members, and other groups in the community.  For example, a program for Seniors could be funded through the Ontario Seniors Community Grant (see kitchen binder).

If the kitchen produced sufficient income, and the coordinator was able to find ongoing grants and sources of income for the kitchen then this could become a permanent position

If the coordinator worked 20 hours a week, they should also be able to manage most of the rentals for the entire building.

20 hours/ week @ $20=$400 x50 weeks = $20,000;

-add another $5000 for initial advertising, set-up, operating costs =$25,000

The money to hire a coordinator would be in addition to the cost to build and equip the kitchen.

Kitchen policies

A team, comprised of KUF members, kitchen design experts and community users would need to develop policies for the operation of the kitchen. This would include a rental policy, and issues of building security, cleaning of the kitchen and garbage/ recyclable disposal.

Policies developed by Greensgrow Community Kitchen (see kitchen binder), Kingston Community Health Centre and Two Rivers Food Hub in Smith Falls could be used as guidelines.

Kitchen operating expenses

  1. Insurance

Tom Jacques, broker at Shaw Insurance where we get our Quinte Mutual Insurance policy, tells me that Quinte Mutual does not offer a policy that would cover kitchen use by outsiders. He says that provided the kitchen is rented by someone who has a Commercial General Liability Policy, it would have no effect on KUF’s policy. He adds that if we rent to people without a liability policy, we should require them to obtain event liability insurance. He says such insurance can be obtained at reasonable cost from PAL Canada. The website is With such insurance, kitchen accidents (burns etc) or sickness arising from the food prepared etc, would be covered.

Hope this helps

Note: PAL Canada provides occasion insurance and is used by caterers and facilities in Toronto

  1. Utilities
  • Additional use of gas, water and electricity
  1. Maintenance
  • Fan and duct cleaning –approx. $1000/ year (Van’s Mobile Cleaning)
  • Preventative Maintenance contract for refrigerator, dishwasher, stove                       – $350 @2 times/year= $700 (Service in Motion 613-384-1718)
  • Additional cleaning costs when needed

Potential Funding for the Development of a commercial Community Kitchen

-research by Jim Robins, John Johnson and Elaine Peterson

Trillium Foundation, OTF, will consider our project for full funding including a manager. Must register and apply before Oct.2 5, 2017 for 2018 award.   Grant would be awarded in March 2018. They have no record of our registration. This should be done now. It involves basic information, charitable number, brief background, mission, community impact, number paid staff, BOD names and two years financials. An important first step- its content and wording should be closely reviewed.

New Horizons Community Grants for Seniors, NHS, has contacted Jim Robins and we are eligible for funding up to $25K

KUF Growth Fund

The $20 000 in the growth fund could be used as seed money for the project. A kitchen at Unitarian Place will grow KUF presence in the community. It will increase the programming potential for KUF and community groups and individuals. All of this will bring more people into our building and our KUF community. This is the first step in membership growth. A guarantee of KUF funds toward this project is probably an expectation of the grant application.

KUF Fundraising

 If this is going to be a KUF project then there needs to be a financial commitment from the congregation. All pledges for the original building campaign have now been reached. There are also many new people in the congregation that were not involved in the Capital Campaign to buy and renovate our current building. There could be a goal of $25 0000. Any money raised beyond what is needed for the kitchen could go toward other building renovations, at the Board’s discretion.

 Community Fundraising

 If this is to be a community kitchen, then it is not unreasonable to approach the local community for help either financial, or in kind. Recently Valerie Colgan was approached by a renter who suggested the Indigenous community could be approached to raise money or help apply for grants to develop a kitchen. This community approach was taken by Edith Rankin Memorial United Church when they decided to expand their building.     This fundraising goal could be $5-10 000.

Frequently asked Questions

  1. Many people want a new entrance, should a kitchen take priority?

A different entrance would be appreciated by most people in the congregation. It is unlikely that a different entrance would increase the use of Unitarian Place. A commercial community kitchen provides a wide range of new possibilities for KUF, community groups and food entrepreneurs and members of the community. It would increase the usage of Unitarian Place and KUF’s visibility in the community. It is a positive step in developing KUF’s Outreach into our local community and the larger Kingston Community.   Every new person who uses our facility has learned something about Unitarian practices.

  1. We were told we needed a floor drain? Is this costly?

There is no regulation that requires a floor drain in the kitchen. For practical reasons it makes sense. Since there is no slope on the floor, a small amount of water would not run down the drain. If there was a major water leakage caused by a burst pipe or plugged dishwasher drain, then the water would go down the drain before spreading out of this area and doing considerable damage. Since there is a water drain in the area, it involves drilling through the concrete and hooking up a drain pipe to the existing sink drain. The cost is included in the Renovation quote, under item 9 ( Extra plumbing).

  1. Will the kitchen be closed off and lockable for safety reasons?

The kitchen will have two lockable doors. The two food pass- through will have some type of sliding door. This will make the kitchen prep area secure. The walls will not go to the ceiling since it would then be considered a separate room requiring new fire alarms. The refrigerator in the hallway could be fitted with a lock. The cupboards in the hall could be fitted with locks and each long-term kitchen renters could be assigned one cupboard to keep their basic supplies.

  1. Will there be a window in the kitchen?

No, there will not be a window. We could put up a nice wooden window pane over the sink, through which you could see a photo of a garden in the distance.

  1. What is the possibility for expansion

If the demand for more kitchen rental space in Kingston exceeds our kitchen space we could expand in a couple of steps. We could add another 6 burner stove under the existing hood. Additional equipment for the kitchen, eg. a deep fryer, a grill, tilt kettle, could be purchased, depending on the needs of entrepreneurs committed to renting our space.

Another step would be to expand into other parts of our building. A food packaging room, with specialized equipment, could be set up in the basement. Food prepared in the kitchen could be put on rolling racks and taken by the elevator to the lower level. This space could be rented out to one person, while another was renting the kitchen.

A larger step would be to move the minister and church offices to the front of the building. The front door would then be the KUF main access. A walk-in freezer and/ or cooler could be built in this back space, with access to the loading dock and the kitchen.   Any remaining space in the back would be rental storage space for food entrepreneurs. The current minister’s office could become the kitchen coordinator’s office.

Next Steps

  • Approval, by the congregation, of the proposal for the development of a commercial community kitchen at Unitarian Place, at the AGM on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
  • A presentation and Q&A session, regarding the kitchen proposal, by the Innovation Team after the Sunday services on May 14 and May 21.
  • If the proposal is approved, a small team of people would start writing grant proposals in June (deadline for Trillium is October 25, 2017);   a second team, composed of KUF members, potential users and kitchen design experts would finalize kitchen design, and equipment list, with costs. This would be done in conjunction with the team writing the grant proposals.
  • A third team would organize a capital campaign to raise funds from both KUF and the larger community. The start of this campaign would be January 2018, at the KUF budget meeting.

Trillium grants will be announced in March 2018. Once we know if we are receiving a grant, construction plans could be started and the grand opening of kitchen could be planned. Construction is estimated to take one month, after all the components have been manufactured