Work on Milam Street Kitchen Incubator close to completion

HUD grant to help boost center for aspiring chefs
Updated: Aug. 14, 2018 at 11:52 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Construction at the Milam Street Kitchen Incubator and Community Kitchen is in the final stages.

It's part of an effort to revitalize Shreveport's Allendale and Ledbetter Heights neighborhoods.

Once finished, it will be a place for culinary entrepreneurs to operate out of and get training. It even will have a cafe managed by residents in public housing.

"As a small business owner, I know the importance of having kitchen space. There is no commercial kitchen space in Shreveport. It's very hard to find one if you want to," project director Turaeza Hose said.

Groundbreaking took place late last year. Weather then caused some delays.

But this first phase of the project is now expected to be completed around the end of September and be operational by the end of October.

It was funded by a $1 million Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhoods grant.

There's a lot more in the works.

This project also will get part of the $24 million HUD grant announced by the city a few weeks ago to redevelop the area.

"This is very much going to be a part of it, and we are going to be able to do even greater things. The next phase is that of a distribution center," explained Darrin Dixon, SUSLA director of small business development.

Chefs will be able to package and sell items on a regional or national scale right here in Shreveport.

"That's very hard to keep the quality of your product good and be able ship to California. We want to be able to do that. There is no distribution center close to here," said Hose.

Construction of the distribution center will begin not long after this first phase is complete.

Also in the works are a culinary medicine program with MLK Health Center and the medical school and a culinary apprenticeship program that will place people in businesses.

If you want to take advantage of the kitchen incubator when it opens this fall, call Southern University at 318-670-9700 or reach out to MSKICK on Facebook.

Southern University is partnering with the city of Shreveport and Housing Authority on this project.

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