In 1993, I bought The United Provision Meat Company, a USDA daily inspected meat company (USDA Est. 2579), from John Mullins who bought it from the famous entertainer Bob Hope in 1980. After being in business for 20 years servicing restaurants, institutions and grocery stores, I recognized the need in Columbus, and specifically the Near East Side area, to provide a business to help local food businesses startup, grow, prosper and subsequently to purchase their own brick and mortar. This was after I had been asked numerous times if my plant and specifically, the commercial kitchen part, was available for rent. So, in October of 2013, I co-founded The Columbus Food Hub as a new division of United Provision Meat, Seafood & Catering Company to act as a food incubator and/or food commissary and to assist new food start-ups.
THE COLUMBUS FOOD HUB, 1117 OAK STREET, COLUMBUS, OHIO 43205
The Columbus Food Hub's goals are to service food businesses, food trucks and carts, caterers and chefs and to offer a 14,000 sq. ft fully inspected food processing plant, up to 20 food cart/truck parking spaces, a full commercial kitchen, cooler space, freezer space, dry storage space, further meat and seafood processing, further cooked meat processing, grinding, tenderizing, bandsawing and packaging as well as free business consulting, free meat-cutting demonstrations and free advertising to its' members. I am very excited about this opportunity for Columbus and the Near East Side area. We have already had a couple real success stories and look forward to many more.
As an exciting addition to The Columbus Food Hub, I purchased the old Richard's Carry Out on South Ohio and Oak Street, which is a 1,500 sq. ft. building attached to United Provision Meat Company, and converted it into a restaurant or eatery called Oak Street Meats & Seafood where members of The Columbus Food Hub may exhibit and sell their wares. This is something new to The Columbus Food Hub and promises to be very helpful to its members. Not only can members create their products but they can also sell them on the grounds in a retail capacity with little or no money down. This is where Hot Chicken Takeover, J's Hot Fish, What the Waffle, Way Down Yonder and A Taste of Boudins began. When you consider the incredible cost to open a brick and mortor restaurant, the equipment needed, the maintenance involved, the utilities consummed, the Hub's restaurant/eatery is quite the gift to those with a culinary dream who have little or no money!
Oak Street Meats & Seafood restaurant/eatery.
Inside Oak Street Meats & Seafood restaurant featuring Hot Chicken Takeover.
Commissary kitchen featuring Will of J's Hot Fish.
The kitchen has 4 deep fryers, 2 convection ovens, 3 conventional ovens, 10 burners, a griddle, a broiler, 3-30 gallon kettles, 2-2000 lb. cookers, a 1,700 watt commercial microwave oven, 5-sinks, 1 Hobart duel heated dishwasher, 5 stainless steel tables, a 25-foot state-of-the-art exhaust hood and multiple work stations.
Meat processing room. The meat processing room has 5 large stainless steel tables, 2 meat grinders, 2 band saws, a cuber, a tenderizing machine and a large crushed ice machine, 2 sinks and is cooled by overhead coolers.
Seafood Processing room. This area is an additional area which may be utilized for anything. It has 3 stainless steel tables, 2 sinks, a disposal, a sprayer and shelving. This area can also be cooled by overhead coolers.
Walk-in cooler. This cooler is as large as 3 semi-tractor trailers. Tenants of The Columbus Food Hub may lease a skid or two for their use if they wish.
These 55-gallon barrels are used for deep frying grease disposal. They are located in the walk-in cooler.
Receiving Room and packaging room. The Columbus Food Hub has multiple packaging machines. It has a double chamber vacuum pack machine, a tipper-tip (clipping) machine and 2 different Dixie-Pac roll stock machines.
Dixie Pac packaging machine number 1.
Dixie Pac packaging machine number 2.
Freezer number 1.
Back-up freezer/cooler number 2.