Kitchen gives chance for businesses to grow


INDIANAPOLIS - President Obama is hoping tax cuts to small businesses helps spur the economic recovery. A small business in Indianapolis is showing others how to be a big success.

With the unemployment rate hovering at 8.7 percent in Indiana, it doesn't seem as though the jobs are out there. But inside Indy's Kitchen downtown, more than cupcakes are being whipped up. Here, lives are being changed.

"We really are looking at ourselves as an incubator for small businesses. I mean, we're trying to grow them," said owner Linda Gilkerson.

Gilkerson opened Indy's Kitchen last summer. Aspiring cooks and bakers can rent commercial kitchen space by the hour.

"They just bring their ingredients in, for whatever amount of time they need to, then they're able to market their product and see if it will work," she said.

Gilkerson provides more than space, she also helps clients navigate everything from business plans to product packaging and pricing.

Becky Hostetter owns the Duos food truck and does all of her prep work at Indy's Kitchen, a place she calls her salvation.

"It's the perfect jump-off point for small entrepreneurs who aren't in a position to invest $30,000 in equipment," she said.

Because of the kitchen, Duos has been so successful they've been able to hire three additional people.

"When I was in need of a real job and they were in need of an employee, we met, worked things out and I've been here ever since," said Anthony Perry.

Kris Parmelee started her carry-out meal business Avec Moi in Indy's Kitchen last August. She now owns her own building and has two employees, something she says would not have been possible without the kitchen.

"It gave me that opportunity to prove the potential of the business, even prove to the bank," Parmelee said.

It may just be a kitchen, but it's turning out businesses that are helping turn the economy around. More than 40 clients are renting out space at Indy's Kitchen, including most of the food trucks you see on the streets. Rental rates are around $22 an hour.