Providing an affordable, state-licensed commercial kitchen for a variety of food entrepreneurs.

Accepting New Business

Rates Range from $10.00- $20.00/hour

Renovated in 2016 and updated with new appliances, the certified Kitchen is designed to meet the needs of chefs, caterers, food entrepreneurs, bakers, and cooking class instructors. Interested? Contact Kitchen Supervisor Mary Kapler. She will lead you on a tour, answer your questions and help you with the process of becoming a certified and state-licensed renter.

“Having a commercial kitchen license at the Mickle Center has allowed me to sell cookies to businesses I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to with just my home bakery license. It’s also great to have such a large space to spread out when we get large orders!” – Brittney Haskins, One Sweet Kitchen.

Expert Assistance

The process of starting a food business can be daunting. Navigating both state and federal regulations can be overwhelming. Most of the individuals who contact the MC Kitchen do not have extensive backgrounds or experience in the food industry. Often the individual who contacts the Kitchen only has an idea and is not sure where to start. Offering more than 30 years experience in the food industry, Kitchen Manager Mary Kapler works directly with both renters and potential renters on developing each individual business. Using this critical resource speeds up the business’s time to market.

“As an affordable rental space, the MC kitchen has helped me grow my business and continue to expand by having the equipment I need to be successful. Mary has been a huge asset with helping guide me with professional advice as well. Thank you for having the Mickle Center for us smaller guys!  – Julie Heathcoat, Sunflower Chef Catering.

Keys to Success

Being a food entrepreneur is not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. While the type of food businesses that rent space at the Kitchen are quite diverse, there are several elements successful business owners share: a defined target consumer, they know their financials, ability to handle the unexpected, patience and strong personal drive to see the process through.

“From Day 1, Mary, the MC Kitchen, and other renters made sure I had everything I needed to hit the road running. From the right licenses to the most affordable insurance, the people and the environment at the kitchen made it easy to focus on the bread and butter of my business.” – Carter Yerkes, Better Butter Bureau

Kitchen History

Formerly a nursing home, the Robert W. Mickle Neighborhood Resource Center now houses several small businesses and nonprofit organizations. For several years, the Center’s owner, the Neighborhood Investment Corporation, envisioned turning the outdated kitchen space into a vibrant shared use kitchen that would be available to food entrepreneurs in Des Moines.

NIC first hired an expert to complete a feasibility study, which targeted and surveyed potential users of a community kitchen and identified three primary interests: caterers, small quantity food manufacturers, and baked goods. In addition, the study indicated community interest in providing space and equipment for groups to preserve food for food-insecure families.

The Wallace Centers of Iowa completed a site evaluation for the project. Staff analyzed the information gathered in the feasibility study and presented recommendations for equipment and workflow design that will serve the identified needs. An extensive renovation started in 2016 and was completed in January, 2017.

The Wallace Centers of Iowa is the operational manager for the Kitchen.

Information

Email Kitchen Supervisor Mary Kapler or call her at 515.282.4715.

The Mickle Center
1620 Pleasant Street
Des Moines, IA
Phone 515.282.4715

Current Renters

Farmers Markets

  • Say Cheese
  • Better Butter Bureau
  • Lumpia & Co.
  • Palms Caribbean Cuisine
  • Peverill’s Apiary
  • Bagelaire
  • Hanna Valley Protein

Direct to Consumer

  • Prep Kings
  • 5 Spice Sisters
  • Mac’d by JL
  • Underbite Dogs
  • Dinner Dispatch
  • Kettle/Black
  • Hanna Valley Protein
  • Batch Balanced
  • Ukrainian Village
  • Sivid
  • Cedar Street Cheese

Catering

  • Sunflower Chef
  • Palms Caribbean Cuisine
  • Lumpia & Co.
  • Occasions Catering
  • Judges Catering

Retail

  • One Sweet Kitchen
  • Peverill’s Apiary
  • Love and Cupcakes
  • Kettle/Black
  • Salud

Events/Co-ops/Other

  • Pies and Pastries by Lana
  • Better Butter Bureau
  • Magoo’s Pizza
  • Say Cheese
  • Cedar Street Cheese
  • Oishii Ramen House

Location