Men Who Cook Now Seeking Help in the Kitchen

RVCC on Route 151 in Nelson County. (Submitted photo.)

The unexpected loss of the original and long-term kitchen tenant created a challenge for Rockfish Valley Community Center (RVCC): replace the lease revenue beginning in March 2019 and re-create the kitchen space. The volunteer board of RVCC re-envisioned the space to better promote the center’s mission through the creation of a “community kitchen.”  This could be accomplished with the anchor of two part-time tenants who are available to supervise non-commercial use in their off hours.

After consultation with the Virginia Department of Health, a number of repairs and upgrades to the space have been identified, and a number of improvements are recommended in order for the space to be re-certified as a commercial kitchen. These include the replacement of the underlayment and flooring, installation of fiberglass-reinforced plastic wall panels, upgrades to the electrical and plumbing systems and fixtures, window replacement, and upgrades to existing equipment including stoves and ovens, the exhaust hood and walk-in refrigerator. An architectural review of the required improvements resulted in a preliminary estimate of $28,715 in materials expense. All work will be completed by volunteer labor with funding though grants.

RVCC is proud to have helped incubate and sustain a successful catering and cafe business in the kitchen over the past 12 years. However, the impact that the kitchen could have in the community by expanding the culinary activities would better promote RVCC’s mission. Several individuals have expressed interest in teaching cooking classes of various styles. The plan includes having a kitchen available to the public for use in seasonal canning, use of the facility to support events that include meals, community fundraisers such as spaghetti dinners, or the preparation of foods for sale at local markets and numerous other uses.

A funding appeal to more than RVCC 435 members and the community spelled out the necessary improvements and pointed out as well the loss of income while the kitchen is being renovated. The March 2 pancake breakfast was the last one for several months. The renovation kicked off this week.  


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