May 30, 2014

Pop-up shops are a growing solution for small business owners who wish to start a new business but lack the necessary funds.

On Leonard Street in Victoria Park, Hadi Azlan has been renting out  his Cooks’ Cookout pop-up professional kitchens since 2012.

The food venue allows small business owners to get their foot in the door without a permanent contract.

Its aim is to provide a low cost temporary venue with a commercial kitchen and dining area for restaurants and food preparation.

Juliana Koh is the owner of a family Japanese restaurant JBento and has been renting the space for the past year.

“It’s not easy to start a business from scratch,” Ms Koh says.

“To come up with the money for our own kitchen would have been impossible.”

She plans to move to a more permanent location but Cooks’ Cookout provided a platform from which to launch her business.

Every weekday Ms Koh and her family transform the venue’s blank space into a vibrant restaurant filled with locally sourced art and furniture.

Montage Collective is a pop-up clothing and crafts store that operates across metropolitan Perth.

Montage Collective co-ordinator Annie Rawle says pop-up shops allow traders to trial products and receive feedback from the public.

“Moving the shop around allows you to experience different locations and see how different demographics impact the business,” Ms Rawle says.

“Pop-up shops are a growing trend and we are always looking for new venues to set-up shop.”

The store opens two to three times a year for an average of three weeks to two months depending on the availability of pop-up venues.

Mr Azlan says the primary clientele for his pop-up facilities are restaurant owners and people who prepare food for local farmers markets.

Azita Lo Conte rents a Cooks’ Cookout venue twice a month to produce breakfast cereal for her small business The Forgotten Meal.

The tucker is sold in local farmers markets.

Ms Lo Conte says that as she only needs to use the kitchen sparingly it makes sense to rent the space by the hour.

“We couldn’t have started our business without the use of these facilities, due to safety regulations and a lack of start up funds,” she says.

“I didn’t know if our business would be a success or not so it is comforting knowing we aren’t locked into a contract.”

While Cooks’ Cookout provides the venue and has its own food safety licence, clients renting the space must have their own independent temporary food and liquor licences.

Mr Azlan says the Town of Victoria Park has been quite co-operative throughout the development of the pop-up business.

“Business was slow to start but it’s picking up,” Mr Azlan says.

“The more people understand what we do here the more they realise that having a shared kitchen is a great idea.”

Town of Victoria Park spokeswoman Yvonne Pichiarski says the council supports pop-up businesses as long as each business complies with food safety regulations.

Categories: Business, News Day

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