December 8, 2018
We’ve heard of maker spaces, co-working offices, and the various collaborative work environments popping up as entrepreneurship is on the rise. Less common are co-working areas for particular industries, like say, baking.
The baking community in Charlotte is growing, from home cooks to professional chefs, but the infrastructure isn’t quite there to support the growth. Shared-use kitchen space is hard to come by and options available aren’t well suited to the specific needs of bakers. It’s tough to find something accessible and affordable.
Jossie Lukacik, a pastry chef and owner of Sweet Affairs dessert catering, was all too familiar with the issue and was in need of space to operate her catering business. When an opportunity to take over the lease on a kitchen space from a fellow baker and friend arose, she jumped at the chance.
“Originally, I was just trying to cover rent,” said Lukacik. “But the need within the baking community was evident, and I had so many peers and friends who needed space too, so I decided to open up the kitchen.”
In March of 2017, Sweet Spot Kitchen opened with four tenants. And, just a year later in August of 2018, they expanded the kitchen and currently have twelve tenants. Of the twelve, ten are women-owned and eight are minority-owned.
The kitchen hosts a surprisingly wide array of businesses that include bakers of bread, cookies and cakes, baby food makers, jams and jellies, and even a business that makes energy gels.
“There is so much knowledge here,” said Monet Bloodworth, owner of Simply Cupcakes of Charlotte and one of the original tenants at Sweet Spot Kitchen. “I’ve learned so much from Jossie, she has been like a mentor to me.”
In September of 2018, Lukacik opened Sweet Spot Studio to share her skills (and the talents of fellow baking professionals) with the public by offering classes and workshops.
Collaborating with fellow industry professionals like Samantha Allen of Wentworth & Fenn and Miranda Brown of The Asbury, Sweet Spot Studio offers classes on a variety of topics like cookie and cake decorating, macaron making, seasonal baking, and private classes upon request. Attendees will not only learn skills in an intimate environment but will also be able to take home their creations from each class. There are also cocktail classes and dessert pairing workshops hosted by Liberate Your Palate who share space at the Sweet Spot Kitchen. Prices range from $45 to $85 and classes are between two to three hours long.
“Jossie has given me the opportunity to teach as well and I’ll be holding a cake-pop making class,” said Bloodworth. “We’re making ‘Rudolph.’ It’s perfect for kids and families!”
On December 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sweet Spot Studio will showcase confectionary creations by the members of Sweet Spot Kitchen for its inaugural Holiday Bake Sale. Featured vendors include: A Smart Cookie, A. H. Wright Baking Co., Boda Bee & The Mighty Oats, Cerae’s Goodies, Christine’s Konditorei, City Farm Foods, Liberate Your Palate, Simply Cupcakes, and coffee provided by Enderly Coffee Co. Attendees can also participate in cookie decorating and the event is family friendly and free to attend!
“We’ve really created a community here and we couldn’t be more excited to share our passion with the greater community of Charlotte,” said Lukacik. “It is a really special thing.”
In this article
- A Smart Cookie
- A. H. Wright Baking Co.
- Boda Bee & The Mighty Oats
- Cerae's Goodies
- Christine's Konditorei
- City Farm Foods
- Heather Moss
- Hosted by Heather
- Jossie Lukacik
- liberate your palate
- Miranda Brown
- Monet Bloodworth
- north carolina
- Samantha Allen
- Simply Cupcakes
- Sweet Spot Kitchen
- Sweet Spot Studio
- the asbury
- Wentworth & Fenn