SPICE Kitchen helps refugees in Utah become small business owners

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SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- A program in Salt Lake County is helping refugees who have come to Utah become small business owners, and the project held an open house Wednesday.

The SPICE Kitchen Incubator is located in South Salt Lake and is the work of Salt Lake County and the International Rescue Committee, and SPICE stands for supporting the pursuit of innovative culinary entrepreneurs.

The idea behind the kitchen is to help refugees who arrive in Utah get back on their feet by turning their culinary skills into small businesses, which will in return add new flavor to Salt Lake County's culinary offerings.

Lori Bays, Human Services Department Director for Salt Lake County, spoke about the project.

“It provides us here in Salt Lake County with the opportunity to experience cultures from around the world that we maybe otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience, and it allows us to add to the richness of our community and the diversity that we`re able to experience here on a daily basis; it`s wonderful,” Bays said.

The SPICE Kitchen helps provide training, market opportunities and access to commercial kitchen space, according to a press release. The goal is for would-be chefs to gain a working knowledge of what it takes to run a food business so they can launch their own venture. The kitchen currently has room for up to three chefs to work at a time, and fundraising is underway to expand the program and fully equip the kitchen.

The SPICE Kitchen is located at 2180 South 300 West, suite 102. For more information, visit their website.

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