It’s estimated that 45% of Americans, nearly 70 million people, have a side hustle to bring in extra cash. Selling crafts, making deliveries, upcycling vintage finds, chauffeuring folks after work: you name it, we make it happen. If your particular spoke of the gig economy is food-based, commercial kitchens are the perfect way to produce items without a large-scale investment up front. Capital Mall’s LOC-OLY Grown Commercial Kitchen is a great place to test the waters. Who knows where you – and your products – will eventually end up?

metal industrial kitchen counters with carrots, rolling pin, tomatoes, a cucumber and other items on them. Wall says 'Loc-Oly Grown. Commercial Kitchen, Olympia, Washington'
Capital Mall, on Olympia’s West Side, is home to the LOC-OLY Grown Commercial Kitchen. Photo courtesy: Capital Mall

Commercial Kitchens in Olympia Are a Lifeline to Local Businesses

Getting started in the food industry is tricky. Sure, you’ve got an amazing product but don’t forget the necessary rules and regulations involved in bringing it to market. Industry experts explain that by renting a commercial kitchen, “You won’t have to worry about building codes, licensing, OSHA requirements, and repairs when you rent a commercial kitchen. You only have to focus on the important thing which is cooking.”

The Mall’s LOC-OLY Grown kitchen, which is centrally located on Olympia’s West Side, is fully stocked and offers a variety of rental options. “Leveraging the kitchen as a strong steppingstone for business owners has proven to be the best use of the space,” shares Capital Mall Marketing and Business Development Manager Hope Montag. “Whether their dream is to grow their catering business, own their own restaurant or upgrade their food truck, our kitchen can help make that happen.”

They currently have 5 active users, 3 more joining this June, and 11 total approved businesses who access the site regularly. Some, like the American Cancer Society, even use the kitchen on a one-off basis. They used it to bake 100 apple pies for a recent charity fundraiser. Others use it regularly to prep, cook, preserve, package and store items for future sale.

Commercial ranges side by side
This is a rentable space, open 24/7, that can be used to turn your culinary side-hustle into a professional reality. Photo courtesy: Capital Mall

Renting Commercial Kitchen Space in Olympia Saves Money and Headaches

You could just dive in and purchase a food truck, rent a storefront, or build the restaurant of your dreams. But without a lottery win, throngs of dedicated followers and experienced mentorship, starting a new culinary empire is tricky. LOC-OLY Grown’s kitchen takes away much of the inherent risk.

“Aside from rental rates, there is no overhead cost to the client like when owning your own restaurant,” says Montag. “Things like utilities and maintenance. The access is 24/7 and it’s a clean, secured, spacious area that’s outfitted specifically for kitchen needs to help launch-pad chefs to their next level.” If things take off for you, Montag and her team are happy to discuss leasing mall space or hosting food carts to companies ready to take that next step.

Building a commercial scale kitchen of your own would cost between $40,000 and $200,000, according to restauranteurs. Even just leasing the same equipment can run up to $5,000 each month. But the LOC-OLY Grown Commercial Kitchen comes with mixers, food processers, ovens, gas ranges, sinks, prep tables and a dishwasher. There are also multiple refrigerators and freezers, cooking surfaces and 1,000 square feet of work area.

Two tall commercial refrigerators
LOC-OLY Grown Commercial Kitchen can include equipment and storage space without the up-front costs or rental fees of a brick and mortar location. Photo courtesy: Capital Mall

Make That Side Hustle a LOC-OLY Grown Reality Today

Renting the LOC-OLY Grown Commercial Kitchen is a snap. It’s available in one-hour slots up to 90 days in advance. When you make a reservation, simply add on the equipment items you’d like to use including storage in their freezer, cooler or dry storage areas. Last-minute equipment can be added, if the item hasn’t been reserved by someone else, but must be done at least 24 hours in advance. The kitchen is opened by keycard so renters can come and go as their schedule allows any time of the day or night. Montag and the team are happy to chat about options, answer questions or even facilitate pop-up events in the mall.

Don’t forget that potential renters must have a certificate of insurance, Washington State business license, Thurston County food handlers permit, signed off on the Mall’s rules and releases and provide a security/cleaning deposit.

When you’re ready to give it a try, you can reserve the kitchen online or call 360.754.8098 with questions. Find a full list of rentable equipment posted as well. Bundle up your paperwork, head to the store for ingredients, grab your apron. It’s time to turn your gig into a career path, charitable outlet or way to earn a few extra dollars after work. You’ve got the talent, it’s time to see it LOC-OLY Grown into something magical.


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