The Frugalista Life

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St. Pete’s Florida Chefs Workshop lets food entrepreneurs share the wealth

People in the food industry usually find their passions for it early on. Lisa Prather, owner of A Fresh Connection Catering, Café, and Bakery and the Florida Chefs Workshop commercial shared kitchen, discovered her passion for cooking while working as a teenager. A career change left her with the opportunity to finally follow her passions.

Florida Chefs Workshop allows food entrepreneurs and chefs to collaborate with each other. The kitchen is a place where they can test out their products and build lasting relationships. A Fresh Connection serves up your typical café breakfast foods like coffee and baked goods.

A bit about Florida Chefs Workshop:

“Lisa Prather, executive chef and co-owner of St. Pete’s A Fresh Connection, discovered her passion for food as a teen working at Po’ Folks in Brandon. She worked her way up the chain from hostess to associate manager while in college earning a degree in computers and accounting. 

“My career path took me on a different road but my love and passion for cooking bought me back,” Prather explains. 

When the market crashed a decade ago, Prather found herself wondering what her next step was going to be. In her spare time, she wrote several business plans and they all had one thing in common: food. 

Not wanting to fight fate any longer, she pursued a degree in culinary arts at the Art Institute of Tampa, and graduated in 2011.

Dabbling in catering and private chef gigs under the name The Fresh Exchange for a few years, she noticed her client list continuously growing, prompting her to establish A Fresh Connection as a catering company in 2015. 

Realizing her overall goal to open her own kitchen, Prather decided to take the best logistical step and open a shared-use kitchen.

“Shared-use kitchens were something I had always wanted to do. I figured I’d do my catering and rent out times when I’m not using it,” Prather says.

With more space comes more responsibility, and orders.”

Chefs can apply to use the kitchen hereLearn more about A Fresh Connection and Florida Chefs Workshop on Creative Loafing here.

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