Confituras Founder Stephanie McClenny is taking her preserves company from a farmers-market booth to a brick-and-mortar location this spring.
From locally grown coffee to organic soaps, Austin farmers markets offer a weekend extravaganza. But with the city’s limited amount of shared kitchen space, some food-business owners are left with limited resources. Confituras Owner Stephanie McClenny wants to help. McClenny, who opened shop in the summer of 2010, turned her love for food and cooking into her own jelly-and-preserves company with the help of internet video tutorials and a responsive online community. After six months of canning and preparing more than 100 products for her first market, McClenny sold out of Confituras jam in just two hours.
This spring, McClenny plans to open Confituras’ first brick-and-mortar location off South Lamar Boulevard. The fast-growing company will serve as a community space known as Confituras Little Kitchen.
“I collected all of my dreams and plans and am putting them under one roof,” McClenny says. “The community-kitchen space is not only for us to do our own production, but it’s going to be open to other folks in the food community to rent.”
The kitchen will provide a retail space in which other homegrown-food producers can showcase their products alongside Confituras jams. Not only will having the kitchen enable McClenny to provide hand-selected biscuits and coffee to pair with her preserves, but it will also make it possible for her to establish an incubator program for other women working in the food industry.
“We want to offer mentorship and talk to women about writing business plans, marketing and entering the wholesale world,” McClenny says. “I think it’s hard for a woman in this male-dominated industry and we want to give back for how much we’ve received over the last six years.”
Customers will also be able to rent out the bright and airy community-kitchen space for private parties and dinners. By serving as a hub for the next big ideas in Austin’s food industry, Confituras Little Kitchen is sure to have a little something for everyone.