Sharing Kitchen is a social innovation project built from scratch by its two founders Dodo Cheng and Brandon Cheung. Starting from promoting the concept of co-cooking workspace, it has now established its brand and opened the 6,000 sq ft ‘Co-cooking HK’ shared kitchen.
Good ideas often come from keen observations. Some years ago, Dodo and Brandon met many grassroots women who were good at cooking but lacked the chance to showcase their culinary talent. They also noticed that many restaurant kitchens were often under-utilized at certain times of a day. The notion of co-cooking workspaces and project Sharing Kitchen popped up. The idea is to allow grassroots women to use restaurant kitchens during non-peak hours to make food for sale and by so doing, to create shared value.
However, putting their idea into practice was no easy job. Dodo and Brandon visited more than 100 restaurants to understand the needs and wishes of the operators. Many were willing to provide opportunities for grassroots women. Yet, there was no example to follow. Questions regarding licensing, hygiene, liabilities, insurance and contracts posted obstacles to the collaboration.
Determined to overcome the challenge, the two sought extensive legal advice and worked with an insurance company to tailor-make suitable insurance plans for restaurants. Eventually, three restaurants gave their vote of confidence and joined as the first batch of partners.
As the project developed, more and more women wanted to join and cooking spaces ran out fast, prompting Dodo and Brandon to open Co-cooking HK in Tsuen Wan. It is the first co-cooking workspace that allows different cuisines to be prepared at the same time and more home chefs to be trained. It enhances the capacity of the fledgling chefs in making food and starting their own businesses.
Dodo and Brandon believe that what enables them to build up a successful social innovation project from scratch is not so much about capability or business strategy but a strong belief and aspiration. Only by upholding these values can the project be sustainable.
- The SIE Fund is funding the "Co-cooking HK" scale-up project. More details can be found here.
Scope of Services
- DODO, founder of Co-cooking HK: women deserve to have their own lives (Pneuma news 10/11/2019) (Chinese only)
- Mother started her fruit tea business with 21-year-old son (Pneuma news 13/10/2019) (Chinese only)