The Foodie Labs Making Its Debut Connecting Food, Art and Science

The Foodie Labs Making Its Debut Connecting Food, Art and Science

Ghost Kitchens, Commissary, and Test Kitchens Coming to St. Pete + Event Space

The Foodie Labs, a brand new culinary center, connects the world of food with art while providing a creative showcase for chefs, virtual restaurants, caterers and foodies.

The lab, located in the Warehouse Arts District on the ArtsXChange campus, contains eight commercial cook stations, a main baking station, a professional demonstration kitchen, event space, and a pop-up café experience.

Specifically, it will consist of:

  • Virtual Food Hall
    • Contains up to six virtual restaurant residencies
    • Grab and go food options with a convenient pickup window
    • Delivery service for the area
  • Test Kitchen/Commercial Kitchen
    • Food trucks, caterers and chefs interested in food preparation or culinary discovery
    • Shared kitchen space for testing recipes, packing, prepping
    • 24/7 Access
  • Professional Demonstration Kitchen
    • Special events featuring chefs, food demos and pop up restaurants
    • Food photography, videography, food styling and staging
  • Pop-Up Café experience

Locally, there has been a lack of commercial kitchen space and resources. Partners, Jim Pachence and Kristin McKinney Zelinsky, are passionate about the project and are excited for the positive impact it’ll have on the culinary scene in St. Pete.

Jim Pachence, a former biotech scientist turned foodie, is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Owner and operator of Serious Foodie, which makes sauces and spice rubs inspired by world cuisine, is aware of the importance of commercial kitchen space and the inspiration of food on the community.

“Our long time dream of bringing an innovative culinary space to St. Pete is about to become a reality. We’re excited about the positive impact we can make on the community alongside the ArtsXChange”, Pachence said.

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Kristin McKinney Zelinsky, a culinary professional with 25 years of catering experience, saw a need for not only culinary workspace but also mentoring food entrepreneurs accelerating their growth and profitability. Owner of Pro Kitchen Hub Tampa since 2015, she is ready for the next steps in her growth as well. Being a St. Pete native, she knows the influence this will have on the culinary community.

“I’ve lived in St. Pete since I was seven and am thrilled to be a part of this amazing project in my home town”, Zelinsky said.

The Foodie Labs also provides a three tier mentoring and marketing program for aspiring chefs, food trucks, caterers or any entrepreneur getting started in the food business. This will include necessary certifications, licensing, classes, and networking.

Being a part of the ArtsXChange, the lab plans to feature local artists and musicians during food related events and popups, focusing on combining all the arts in the area.

The expected opening date is April 2023.


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