Our Saviour’s Church to open commercial kitchen

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Electrician James Edwards works in the kitchen at Our Savior's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Norge. The kitchen has been upgraded with commercial appliances. (Kirsten Petersen/ WYDaily)
Electrician James Edwards works in the kitchen at Our Saviour’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Norge. The kitchen has been upgraded with commercial appliances. (Kirsten Petersen/ WYDaily)

Our Saviour’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Norge is looking to expand its ministries and open its doors to entrepreneurs upon completion of its own commercial kitchen.

The Rev. Jim Nickols, Our Saviour’s senior pastor, said the church had previously used home kitchen equipment to prepare meals for families living in local motels. Since 2013, the church has raised money during its Oktoberfest celebration to buy commercial equipment for its kitchen.

Nickols said all the essentials—a freezer, refrigerator, sinks, a hood and a stove—have been purchased with funds from Oktoberfest and money from private donations.

“It’s nice to have a kitchen that’s commercial,” Nickols said. “It’s better than regular, home grade equipment because it’s more durable.”

The commercial kitchen will enable the church to participate in the Community of Faith Mission, an emergency shelter ministry that feeds and houses the homeless during the winter months, and enhance its Senior Champions Program, an adult day service for senior citizens with mild dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, he said.

The church will also be able to rent out the kitchen to food service businesses as they are starting up.

“We were restricted as to what they could do,” Nickols said of the businesses that have approached the church about the kitchen. “This opens up the door so we can help an entrepreneurial individual get started with doing something and then move into their own facility.”

Before the church can open the kitchen to the community, the church property must be rezoned from general residential to low density residential. This zoning will allow the church to prepare food in the kitchen and deliver it beyond church property, Nickols said.

The zoning application will be considered for a recommendation by the James City County Planning Commission Wednesday night. The item is tentatively set to go before the JCC Board of Supervisors during its Aug. 9 meeting.