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YCEA transfers YorKitchen operations to Central Market

David Weissman
505-5431/@DispatchDavid

Central Market will soon take over operations of the shared commercial kitchen incubator that's been within its walls since 2011.

Amaa Achu, of Global Cafe, washes her dishes in YorKitchen while preparing food to be served in Central Market in York City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. York County Economic Alliance has been operating YorKitchen in Central Market since 2011 but operations will be transferred to the market beginning in February. Dawn J. Sagert photo

YorKitchen was created by NutriCare NorthEast, an entity of the York County Economic Alliance, but the alliance's goals do not include owning assets long term, according to Kenetha Hansen, the alliance's vice president of economic development.

The transfer will be effective Feb. 1, according to a YCEA news release.

YorKitchen was designed to accommodate a wide array of culinary uses, Hansen said, adding that it has been rented by aspiring restaurateurs, caterers or just for overflow cooking for restaurants already in business.

The kitchen has assisted 83 businesses, including 23 that already existed, since its inception and created 166 mostly part-time jobs, Hansen said.

Owner Assen Achu, left, and her mother Amaa Achu, of Global Cafe,  serve their Afro-Caribbean and Latin style food, which was prepared in YorKitchen, in Central Market in York City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. York County Economic Alliance has been operating YorKitchen in Central Market since 2011 but operations will be transferred to the market beginning in February. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Cindy Steele, chief operating officer for Central Market, said the market would like to operate the kitchen similarly and hopes to add more classes.

Steele added that the market is already looking into working with York College's hospitality department.

The kitchen is rented by the hour, and the current $25-per-hour rent rate will remain, Steele said.

Customer Janine Sease Dotts, right, receives her meal from Amaa Achu, of Global Cafe, which serves Afro-Caribbean and Latin-style food that is prepared in YorKitchen, at Central Market in York City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. York County Economic Alliance has been operating YorKitchen in Central Market since 2011 but operations will be transferred to the market beginning in February. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The kitchen will be the only business within the market actually operated by Central Market, Steele said, as the other stands are leased by various vendors.

Several people have approached Central Market about operating YorKitchen, but Steele said no discussions have taken place among market officials to consider such options.