Durham, N.C. — The Cookery has announced plans to expand its operation to include a private garden, ballroom, bridal suite and extended kitchen space.
The event space and community kitchen opened in 2011 in the historic Durham Food Co-op building on West Chapel Hill Street in Durham. The expansion, announced Monday via social media, will extend into the first floor of the neighboring Scruggs Building at 1105 West Chapel Hill St. The private garden will be constructed in the parking lot on Carroll Street that connects the two buildings.
The kitchen expansion will allow Cookery members and caterers more space for plating and storage.
The expansion will increase The Cookery's grounds from 2,500 to 12,000 square-feet.
The spaces are expected to open in the first quarter of next year.
Not originally planned
Rochelle Johnson and her husband Nick Hawthorne-Johnson, an acupuncturist, had originally planned to open a holistic birthing center. When plans changed, they decided to pursue the idea of a kitchen incubator. As they were building out the kitchen, the food truck boom was happening.
It soon became a great creative space for food truck chefs to collaborate together. Chefs often offer advice to one another, Johnson said. The environment is supportive, instead of competitive.
The Cookery members created a community – one that grew when the building's front room opened for party rentals in 2012. The area is open for events, including weddings and culinary workshops.