By Allen Etzler, Frederick News Post
Monday, April 24, 2017

Terri Rowe founded Maryland Bakes, a shared kitchen and co-op space in downtown Frederick. The space opened in February. Rowe spoke to The News-Post about the new business.

58fd0b4db3276.imageCan you explain what Maryland Bakes is and who will or can operate out of the shared space?

Maryland Bakes is a Health Department-approved kitchen for food artists to produce their products. We offer dry and cold storage, as well as the use of our consultation and tasting room, with retail opportunities that will include a physical location to meet with clients and pick up orders.

The starting members of Maryland Bakes are

  • Aunt B’s Angel Cookies
  • Palmtree Catering
  • Diane’s Cupcakery
  • Perfect Little Bites

We are looking for other food artists, such as bread makers, cake bakers, food truck vendors, farmer’s market vendors and anyone who would like to grow their food business.

Why did you see this as a need in Frederick, and how did you come up with the idea?

I have known that there was a need for a co-op/shared kitchen for many years and in speaking with other independent food artists.

In the past, I have rented space at other facilities. There were limitations for availability and then came the grueling process of schlepping supplies in, time to set up and losing precious production time. And then after a few short hours of baking and cleaning, came the exhausting effort to pack up — that was 10 years ago.

Sure, I could produce my product at home due to “cottage food” laws, but it would take over my entire home and using just my home oven, I was limited to the number of cookies I was able to produce. I knew there had to be a better way.

What do you hope Maryland Bakes brings to the community?

The food scene in Frederick is exploding, with some amazing and creative food artists and the ability to source fresh, local ingredients.

I hope that Maryland Bakes will be an integral part of this diverse local food industry. We plan to source fresh ingredients from local farms, dairies, distilleries and breweries, providing high-quality ingredients in the products produced by our members.

We also hope to create a sense of community for our members by showcasing products though social media outlets such as Facebook and on our website. We want to encourage growth and support our members though shared ideas and cross-promoting each other’s products.

Being part of the Fredrick Community means caring about your neighbor and giving back, and we plan to do just that. At each of our monthly “Holiday Shops,” a member will be able to showcase a local nonprofit charity, provide information and donate a portion of sales to that charity.

In honor of Mother’s Day, Aunt B’s Angel Cookies will showcase Heartly House and Faith House. Both are local nonprofits that support women and children in Frederick County.

How would an interested party sign up to use the co-op kitchen?

Contact me for an application to get the ball rolling. You will need to provide a sample of your product and submit a copy of your license from the State of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, along with a proof of product liability insurance. For those who do not have a license yet, the process is not as daunting as you may think. I’m here to walk you through the process, if needed.

What does your facility offer that someone wouldn’t get by using their own kitchen?

Legality, space and the ability to produce in larger quantities, a place to meet with clients for consultations and tastings, presentations and retail opportunities.