Tri-Village News

Marble Cliff mulls Commissary's test kitchens

New business hopes to expand offerings to woo chefs, local food producers, more

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The village of Marble Cliff soon may be a place where foodie dreams become reality.

Village Council is considering a request for a rezoning of the property at 1400 Dublin Road and 2299 Cardigan Ave. that would allow the Commissary, a business moving into a portion of the property, to expand the services it offers.

Kate Djupe, a culinary professional and principal at the Commissary, provided details about her plans at the council meeting held Monday, Aug. 18.

Council will hold a public hearing on the rezoning request at its Sept. 15 meeting.

The services Djupe plans to offer at her business include test kitchens that local chefs and food businesses will be able to use to create and test recipes.

"What I want to do is create test kitchens for small independent food makers," she said. "Hopefully they will be able to move their businesses out into the community."

Djupe said she is working with a number of prominent local food entrepreneurs and chefs who are interested in supporting her vision or using the facilities at the Commissary.

"Central Ohio has long been a test market for Wendy's and Frito-Lay," she said. "In big cities, major chefs have test kitchens where they can (develop) new recipes."

Her business will have a microbrewery that will be available for classes and collaborative brewing, she said. Ohio State University is interested in creating a brewing program, she added.

"I have no intention of becoming a bar or a permanent restaurant," Djupe said. "I'm not trying to sneak that in (with the rezoning request)."

The site would be available for investment dinners where food-making businesses could serve potential investors and bankers their products and talk with them about their business plan, she said.

Nonprofit groups and governmental entities also could hold events at the site, Djupe said.

For example, a library could host a book club at the Commissary where club members sample the dishes featured in the books they are reading, she said.

The Commissary also would have space for up to 15 food trucks, Djupe said. There would be electrical outlets so the trucks would not have to be unloaded. The food truck operators would be able to store and wash dishes and other equipment at the site, she said.

The Commissary is scheduled to open next month.

"We will see a property that has not been very active become a lot more active," Mayor Kent Studebaker said.

Several other businesses are or will be operating at the property, he said, including two businesses operated by the property's principal owner, Brad DeHays.

DeHays sent an email to the village indicating he supports Djupe's plans, Studebaker said.

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