Concord communal kitchen preps for opening Nov. 17

Casey Neal (left), Alex Stoyle and Jordan Reynolds in their new State Street Kitchen on Tuesday to help with communal cooking in the Concord area.

Casey Neal (left), Alex Stoyle and Jordan Reynolds in their new State Street Kitchen on Tuesday to help with communal cooking in the Concord area. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

Alex Stoyle (left) and Casey Neal  in their new State Street Kitchen on Tuesday  to help with communal cooking in the Concord area.

Alex Stoyle (left) and Casey Neal in their new State Street Kitchen on Tuesday to help with communal cooking in the Concord area.

Jordan Reynolds works on top of the commercial refrigerator in their new State Street Kitchen on Tuesday to help with communal cooking in the Concord area.

Jordan Reynolds works on top of the commercial refrigerator in their new State Street Kitchen on Tuesday to help with communal cooking in the Concord area. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

By RAY DUCKLER

Monitor columnist

Published: 11-09-2023 4:04 PM

Modified: 11-10-2023 2:48 PM


Casey Neal, Alex Stoyle and Jordan Reynolds seek to introduce your palate to new food in Concord.

They’re opening the State Street Kitchen on Nov. 17, offering budding restaurateurs the chance to build a business without investing thousands of dollars on cooking equipment and space. Instead, they can use this kitchen for a small fee, reducing the risk of a huge investment loss.

It’s known as a commissary kitchen, sort of a counterculture, communal model for people who love food and are willing to share what they know. Those interested can experiment with different types of dishes, network with others and their ideas for business models and determine which direction they want to go, with options like food trucks, catering, pop-ups or just simply learning how to cook for themselves as Thanksgiving approaches.

But entrepreneurship centered around new menus is the big picture, a creation by two local restaurant owners and a pop-up businesswoman who see Concord as fertile ground for expanding cuisine here, thus adding to the culture and lure of downtown.

“The goal is to have people move out of here and into the city,” said Stoyle, who opened Revelstoke Coffee five years ago next month. “We want to build food businesses in Concord, and this is a good place to get started.”

The idea, while a major commitment made by three individuals who already work full time, has been in the works for months, and the trio is ready to open on the 17th to display what opportunities they’ll provide.

“We have shared the vision with each other, but we also want to share the vision with the community, to supply space and a network of people that would show how to get it running,” said Reynolds, owner of Col’s, a vegan restaurant downtown. “We want Concord to be a Mecca for food in New Hampshire. It’s not really a city that has a big culture around food. There’s already a culture for food here, but we want to advocate for a little more.”

They met over the past two years through a like-mindedness that sees this as a worthwhile addition to Concord, a gradual progression that is attainable.

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Stoyle bought the spacious kitchen two years ago as part of his Revelstoke business. He and his wife and business partner, Lyndsey Cole, saw the potential for something bigger and more community minded.

“We’re kind of seeing Concord as this big up-and-coming market with huge holes in the food scene,” Stoyle said. “So when we acquired this building, we took a look at this kitchen and Lyndsey and I thought this needs to be a shared kitchen space, a community kitchen. Luckily, being a kind of community hub in Revelstoke, my paths crossed with both of these folks and the more we talked about State Street Kitchen, we shared the vision, so these guys have liked the idea and have taken it and started to run with it.”

They hope to turn a profit one day on their new business venture. For now, though, the vision is the priority.

Stoyle opened Revelstoke late in 2018 and has turned it into a paradise for coffee lovers looking for something a bit out of the ordinary. Reynolds, a Bow High School graduate, opened Col’s three years ago.

And Neal currently runs Carousel Concord, a food pop-up business in which she travels to various businesses and prepares food that match the theme of the establishment. For example, she makes charcuterie boards at Wine on Main and a fall pasta dish at Penumbra.

While the other two have their restaurant kitchens for their primary prep work and cooking, Neal uses the State Street Kitchen and hopes to one day open her own, more stable establishment.

Meanwhile, the trio will open their doors to anyone who wants to add to the charm of downtown via a new business and your old palate.

“We’re hopeful,” Neal said. “This is the interest-generating phase.”

If interested in attending the grand opening or one of the other upcoming events, go online to statestreetkitchenconcord.com.