Abby Bonwell, Think Ahead Works coordinator, stands in the newly finished shared kitchen space in King City.

KING CITY, Mo. — Two St. Joseph businesses will soon expand to King City utilizing a shared kitchen space.

Belle Epoque and Friedrich’s Market are the first members of Mosaic Life Care Foundation’s Think Ahead Works commercial kitchen. The idea to open the space came up after Think Ahead Works coordinator Abby Bonwell spoke to local, home-based business owners.

“I knew there were individuals who were needing a commercial kitchen because they wanted to start selling online,” Bonwell said. “To do that, you need a commercially licensed kitchen.”

Friedrich’s Market and Belle Epoque are teaming up by offering take-and-bake products, bread and a lunch menu every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting on Jan 9. Friedrich's Market owner Nicole Radke hopes to eventually start offering a wider selection, including fresh produce.

"We would rather do smaller inventories of things, so that you know it's as fresh as possible," Radke said. "And as demand grows, we can incorporate more of that, but we do special orders down here all the time."

The kitchen and market space including tables for sit-down lunches at 107 W. Vermont St. is one of two buildings the Mosaic Life Care Foundation renovated in 2017 in order to expand its Think Ahead Works program. In addition to the commercial kitchen and market space, it also offers a co-working space.

The other building provides a space for Mosaic Life Care Foundation’s emPowerU program and community ventures and is currently used by a dance studio and karate teacher on a weekly basis.

“For King City and other surrounding small communities, it’s very important for small businesses to thrive,” Bonwell said.

Seniors and individuals without a license in particular will benefit from a local spot to buy groceries.

“We have a number of individuals within this community that don’t have the means to drive to St. Joe to get something as simple as potatoes,” Bonwell said. “So to be able to offer something like that here is going to be crucial for the community of King City.”

Bonwell hopes more entrepreneurs will follow soon. A popcorn farmer hoping to start bottling salsa and a woman who bottles her own elderberry juice have already expressed interest.

To contact Bonwell, call 660-552-4016 or email her at abby.bonwell@mlcfoundation.com.

Jessica Kopp can be reached

at jessica.kopp@newspressnow.com or you can follow her on Twitter: @NPNOWKopp