About the speaker

After identifying a need for commercial kitchen access for food entrepreneurs in Durham, Nick Hawthorne-Johnson, a licensed contractor and co-owner of Bull City Restoration, decided to breathe new life into what once was the Durham Food Co-op building in 2011. The kitchen concept quickly transformed, and Rochelle Johnson, an artist turned entrepreneur, resigned from her graphic design and marketing business, Row Design Studios, to dedicate her career to The Cookery.

Utilizing Nick’s entrepreneurial instincts and an “anything is possible” attitude, as well as Rochelle’s marketing and design talents to craft a recognizable and cohesive brand, this husband and wife partnership built a culinary incubator that uses the collaboration of many businesses to create new experiences and products that revolve around food.

The Cookery is now considered the Triangle’s culinary hub - in addition to providing commercial kitchen space for rent by the hour, it offers small food business consultation to countless member businesses, and a beautiful event space, the Front Room.

The unveiling of the Front Room marks the expansion of this already thriving incubator, and offers limitless possibilities for the local food scene and the exploration of new culinary concepts. Fortunately for the Johnsons, The Cookery is located in a community where locally produced products are celebrated, and the story behind the dish is a valued aspect of the eating experience.

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