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Shared kitchen would aid food carts.

With the growing popularity of food trucks in American cuisine, one Bellingham chef sees an opportunity to support small business and help street food stay local.

Gregg Collier plans to operate a shared commissary kitchen and a private catering company called The Goat Rodeo in a warehouse space at 2185 Alpine Way 101, in north Bellingham. He hopes to open by Aug. 1.

Collier said local food-cart operators will be able to rent out the kitchen for food preparation. He added that he also wants to develop a cooperative for food vendors in Bellingham and Whatcom County.

The kitchen will emphasize cooking and food prep using local produce and food items, he said. A main goal is to connect vendors with local farmers and food producers to create a distribution and production point for community-sourced street food, he added.

"This will allow the creativity and the 'mom-and-pop' startups to take hold," he said.

Street vendors have become more popular in many American food and restaurant markets over the past several years. On Bellingham sidewalks and street comers, food trucks and carts are now a common sight.

A 2012 estimate from market research firm IBIS-World suggested the U.S. street-food vending industry could have annual revenue of up to $1 billion.

Collier is a classically trained chef who said he's been in the business for more than two decades.
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Author:Marczynski, Evan
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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