Right now Theresa Sanders garage is full of baking equipment from her year old bakery. All her supplies are in her garage because Sanders claims that she and partner were booted out of the Greater Sterling Development Corporation’s Business Incubator.
“We were completely blindsided,” says Sanders.
Officials with the business incubator are expanding their kitchen area – the exact space occupied by Sanders’ Rolling Pin Bakery.
“We tried to compromise with them and come up with some solutions where we wouldn’t have to leave and we were unsuccessful,” says Sanders.
“They were going to lose the existing space that they were in and have to be absorbed by the greater kitchen,” says Heather Sotelo of the Development Corporation.
Sotelo says their new expanded kitchen area will be available to anyone on an hourly basis. In order to make the best use of the facilities the space used by Sanders and her partner had to be re-purposed. Rolling Pin Bakery was given first chance to return under a new arrangement, but they say it just doesn’t work.
“They weren’t forced out. They were offered a chance to stay in the kitchen, and they chose not to do that,” says Sotelo.
“They have offered that, but it’s just not feasible for a business that’s operating everyday. Maybe for somebody that’s coming in and out, or for a fundraiser or something like that yes. But for our type of business that type of environment just doesn’t work,” says Sanders.
According to the Sterling Development Corporation the expanded kitchen incubator is will create several new businesses and lots of new jobs. But Sanders says all of that is coming at her expense.
“You start off as a new business and you go that first year and you think I did OK and I wouldn’t have done that bad if I didn’t have all those start-up expenses now here I am again with all these start-up expenses,” says Sanders.
Adding that she’s weighing her options, and is considering renovating part of her home in to a separate commercial kitchen. Mean while the Kitchen Incubator will open for business on June 1st.