The trouble for lots of budding entrepreneurs who want to get into the food business and try out new ideas, experiment and come up with new, fun and delicious foods for us all to enjoy - is that they need to find a kitchen to cook it all in. This can prove almost impossible, as renting a kitchen that is safe, legal and fully equipped with everything you might need can cost an absolute fortune. This means that lots of young chefs that might have a brilliant business concept, simply can’t afford to even get a ‘foot in the door’ of the food industry - let alone into the actual kitchen to start cooking.
That’s why a dynamic young trio, Pedro Esteves, Teresa Sequeira and Joana Esteves have come up with a solution to this problem and started their kitchen sharing project they call Link-a-ring.
How does it work?
Well, they find a restaurant that has closed down and update it by turning it into an industrial, fully licensed and fully equipped co-working space. Here entrepreneurs in the food sector can, instead of renting their own kitchens for 30 days a month at a high cost, simply rent it for the time they will actually be using it.
Who is it for?
As I said before, this works great for businesses that just want to test out a concept without having to invest too heavily to begin with. But it’s also good for restaurant owners who want extra space to cook for the takeaway side of their businesses, and also caterers, who as you can imagine, only need it occasionally when they have a wedding, for example, and so instead of having the expense of a kitchen that is spending the rest of the time unused, they can just book this co-working kitchen space for those specific days or times.
Where is it and what is their previous experience?
The first space they have taken on is in Portimão. The trio has experience in the restaurant trade and created a Digital & Handmade Hamburger place called Bomburgers in Faro, but more recently, due to the pandemic and people not being able to eat out in restaurants so much, they have adapted and started iTi Poke, the first Poke House in Portimão. This traditional Hawaiian bowl of fish, vegetables and rice is both extremely delicious and healthy (believe me, I tried it). iTi Poke is an exclusive takeaway service that they run out of the Link-a-ring kitchen. The packaging, I was also impressed to see, doesn’t have any flashy plastic and logos and is completely biodegradable. “You can put it on your compost heap”, Joana told me.
What else can they do for you?
All this experience means that not only can they offer their clients the use of a fully equipped, industrial and legalized kitchen, but they can also help them out with all sorts of other areas of their business, including products, brands and concepts. Clients will also have access to a co-working office space, which Joana says is great for everybody, as if you run your own business, it’s easy to feel a bit alone and this helps create a sense of community with other businesses who can give opinions and help each other with problems.
They also have a photo studio. Joana is a whizz at taking mouth-wateringly delicious looking photos of food and can offer lots of help with how to get your brand out there.
Who’s in the kitchen?
Currently, they have several brands developing their projects in their Hub, including Francesinha em Casa, Fille Douce Gourmet and BEQ (Barras Energéticas de Querença).
Link-a-rings mission is to offer practical alternatives to entrepreneurs in the catering and food sector and help alleviate some of the high investments and operation costs that running your own kitchen inevitably entails.
This means that talented young chefs will be a lot freer and less stressed about trying out new ideas and more likely to get their businesses up and running. And, speaking purely as somebody who likes to try tasty new food, this can only be a good thing.
In these tough times, these ambitious and hardworking young entrepreneurs are thinking out of the box and helping everybody to work together. They are looking to expand and bring this concept to the whole of the Algarve to help any would-be chefs achieve their dreams.
To find out more go to their website: https://linkaring.pt/