Sussex kitchen project nearing completion

Commercial space will be available for rent to food-service vendors in late March
March 8, 2023

The Sussex County kitchen incubator project is nearing its opening in late March.

With a manager in place, the commercial kitchen for lease will open on the Delaware Technical Community College campus on Vaughn Road in Georgetown.

During a Feb. 28 presentation to Sussex County Council, county Economic Development Director Bill Pfaff said most of the equipment has been installed and a price structure has been established at the Executing Culinary Dreams facility.

Pfaff said the initiative addresses an objective in the county comprehensive plan to support small businesses and county-based industries.

The state-licensed and -certified kitchen can be rented by food truck operators, chefs, caterers and farmers for training, preparing food and storage. Members will pay a $100 initiation fee and then pay an hourly rate when using the facility.

Food truck operators are required by the state to have an association with a commercial kitchen. Pfaff said the county facility can address that requirement.

Manager chef Jim Richards said the kitchen will be able to handle up to three vendors at one time, depending on the food services they are providing.

He said 20 to 30 vendors are expected to use the facility.

Richards said over the past four months, he has received several inquiries about the kitchen. The Culinary Institute graduate has been in the food-service business for more than 50 years. He said he retired but welcomes the opportunity to teach instead of work in the kitchen.

Pfaff said there is a demand for commercial kitchen space.

“Kitchen space is a barrier for some because of the high cost of commercial kitchen equipment,” he said, adding space can be rented by the day, week or month.

Seed money for the project included $150,000 from the General Assembly Bond Bill. At its Feb. 28 meeting, county council voted to amend the fiscal budget to provide funds for the project.

Pfaff said space reservations and payment will be handled by an online service.

For more information, contact Pfaff at

As members of the kitchen incubator program, users can participate in workshops on starting a business, and food costing and pricing.

Users will pay a $300 security deposit and can choose from several rental options, including $300 monthly for 15 hours of kitchen time with $24 for each additional hour.

Those not needing that many hours can rent by the hour for $35 (three-hour minimum). Rental for dry storage will be $75 per month and cold storage at $45 and $75 per month, depending on the size required.

Councilwoman Cindy Green asked if off-hour delivery service would be available because many food-service vendors get deliveries early in the morning.

Pfaff and Richards said a system will be developed to allow food deliveries during times the kitchen is not open.


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