An Open Kitchen for Good

Real Good Kitchen

2. Zero Hunger 5. Gender Equality 10. Reduced Inequalities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Real Good Kitchen encourages collaboration within a diverse working environment that helps local businesses. In its operation, it fights gender and race inequalities in the workplace while simultaneously utilizing responsible production and consumption methods.

Author

Max Thompson

Max Thompson

School

University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee

Professor

Emily Landry

Emily Landry

Innovation

Real Good Kitchen operates as an incubator for aspiring entrepreneurs and businesses with limited resources to conduct all their operations, providing affordable and accessible resources to small businesses. While this is not necessarily a new concept to the business world, it was not present in Knoxville, Tennessee before Real Good Kitchen came about in January 2021.

Bailey Foster, the founder of Real Good Kitchen, saw the necessity for the business in Knoxville and hopped on the opportunity. In January, the kitchen had 3 businesses under their wing, and that's now grown to 30 businesses. Over 73 percent of the businesses that operate within Bailey's facilities are owned or co-owned by women, and 30 percent are owned or co-owned by members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community.

Furthermore, Real Good Kitchen has worked toward limiting hunger and creating affordable food options in Knoxville. In my interview with Bailey, she mentioned that one of her goals was to "connect with the neighborhood and create a pop up event that offers accessible food options to the less fortunate in east Knoxville." She is clearly driven towards a purpose to do better for the community through her business model.

An Open Kitchen for Good

Inspiration

Bailey is inspired to help local food businesses succeed as well as possible. She envisions The Real Good Kitchen as a future B-corporation, and her drive towards that goal reflects on the kitchen's progress; according to Bailey in my interview, "becoming certified holds a company accountable to be responsible, and accountability means everything to me." She is constantly looking for a new mission, and this is just one example. Her main focus is to be intentional in her work, and by operating in an open environment like Real Good Kitchen, she is well on her way to meeting her initial goals and aspirations for the company.

When asking her about the company, Bailey expressed her reasoning and passion to help local businesses: "There was no operating kitchen or workplace in Knoxville that could help food businesses prior." It is clear that Bailey felt that her business would fit perfectly to help provide the necessary resources to new food entrepreneurs and businesses so that they can succeed.

Overall impact

In its short time of operation, Real Good Kitchen has already seen great results and success. As stated before, 30 businesses have already begun operating at the kitchen since January. Additionally, over 135 businesses have toured the kitchen. Bailey also stated that the kitchen even helps businesses with their marketing, fundraising, and websites. The kitchen has logged over 235 hours of individual business coaching since January.

In terms of the long run, Bailey plans to continue to expand her reach to as many local businesses as possible and hopefully grow even larger outside of Knoxville. To stretch her impact even further, Bailey plans in the future to "look at food accessibility in Knoxville with member businesses and provide hot dinners." In such early stages, it is hard to guarantee anything about the trajectory of the business, but it certainly seems to be the case that Bailey has big plans for it.

Business benefit

These innovations assist The Real Good Kitchen because they allow for more growth for their member businesses. As a workplace grows and collaboration continues, everyone involved in the process benefits. As Bailey continues to follow her goals for the business and community, she will also be building the capabilities to become an officially certified B-corporation and grow the business to have an even larger impact on people and the world.

Social and environmental benefit

As a 24-hour operation, Real Good Kitchen uses water saving devices, all LED lights, and constant recycling of cooking materials. Shared kitchen spaces limit waste, and promote reuse of materials. Commercial grade equipment is also shared in the kitchen, making it more affordable and attainable for small businesses. This expands the potential food production at cheaper costs, benefiting the local community.

Interview

Bailey Foster, Founder

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Real Good Kitchen

Real Good Kitchen

Knoxville, TN, US

Business Website: https://therealgoodkitchen.com

Year Founded: 2021

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Real Good Kitchen operates to assist the needs of their local food businesses and community, while also serving as a collaborative learning environment.