Commercial kitchen could bring business to Clark County

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OWEN, Wisc. (WEAU) - A building that's been empty for five years could soon help create dozens of jobs in Clark county.

The now-vacant building was once used as a bowling alley and then for meat processing.

But plans for a commercial kitchen would allow anyone with a dream to cook, bake or make their best recipes for an hourly rental fee to share the space.

The commercial kitchen would also provide business advice along the way, paid for by grants and donations.

“A lot of people have dreams of starting their own business. They're proud of their products that they produce; maybe their famous meatballs or their famous chili recipe that they'd like to package and sell. So people, it's a matter of realizing their dreams,” Community Development Authority Director for the City of Owen Tim Swiggum said.

Susan Infelise said she enjoys the baking she gets to do at home and as a server at the Woodland Supper Club in Owen, but would like to do more.

“I like to see people smile when they take a bite of something and say, 'That's good!'” Infelise said.

“Here I had the opportunity to use my skill and people to enjoy it, but I don't have the ability to go out and do it on my own,” Infelise said.

But an opportunity just up the road could be what she's been waiting for.

With hopes of providing up to 40 jobs in a county with a higher than average unemployment rate, it also offers a lower financial risk than renting your own retail space and getting an individual license.

“You're able to hone your skills, so you are ready once you walk out the door and say, 'I’m going to do it on my own,’” she said.

Swiggum said he hopes, with enough interest, that the kitchen will be up and running this fall.

A meeting to see who's interested is scheduled for May 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the building, across from the Owen library.