Frances Turner, owner of PNW Commissary Kitchen and Northwest Biscotti next door, opened the commerical kitchen last week in Marysville. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Frances Turner, owner of PNW Commissary Kitchen and Northwest Biscotti next door, opened the commerical kitchen last week in Marysville. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Kickstarter kitchen helps entrepreneurs take the next step

PNW Commissary Kitchen in Marysville enables food businesses to sell their goods wholesale.

MARYSVILLE — A commercial kitchen enabled Frances Turner to build her thriving business, Northwest Biscotti.

Now, she wants to help other food-industry entrepreneurs pursue their dreams.

Frances and Jason Turner, of Marysville, opened PNW Commissary Kitchen on Nov. 1. The 1,200-square-foot space, next door to Northwest Biscotti on State Avenue, is equipped with convection ovens, a cooktop, refrigerator, cooler, freezer and work stations.

Under state law, food made in home kitchens must be sold directly to customers. Certified commercial kitchens like the Turners’ open the door to wholesale business.

“It’s just a way for me to help other people who want to start a food business and make their dream come true,” said Frances Turner, 43, who founded Northwest Biscotti four years ago. “If they make cookies or cupcakes or things like that, they’re able to branch out and get more customers.”

Commissary kitchens are rare in Snohomish County. It didn’t take long for the Turners to sign up customers.

So far, PNW Commissary Kitchen is home to cheesecake, caramel and fudge businesses, tea processors, food trucks and a bartending caterer. The kitchen is also available for rent by non-businesses.

Turner says her rates cater to new businesses, ranging from $15 to $25 an hour. She also advises renters about tricks of the trade she’s learned from running her own business.

Frances baked her biscotti at home for years until husband Jason, 45, persuaded her to expand her business. The enterprise grew so quickly that she soon outgrew two commercial kitchens.

She ran Northwest Biscotti in Mukilteo for two years before moving to Marysville last year. When a Czech pastry shop closed next door, the Turners decided to take advantage of the kitchen space.

Kickstarter kitchen helps entrepreneurs take the next step

“It kind of just fell in our lap,” Frances Turner said.

Renters Jeannie Dalton, 45, and Jennifer Dornback, 44, own a bartender-for-hire business called Firewater Events in Lake Stevens. They launched it a year ago.

Dalton and Dornback wanted to expand their business by creating a line of cocktail infusions, garnishes, syrups, salts and sugars, but hadn’t found a suitable commercial kitchen. Then they happened upon PNW Commissary Kitchen.

“It was a perfect distance and it turned out the prices were awesome,” Dalton said. “We could afford it, being a small business.”

At the kitchen, Dalton and Dornback dry fruit, vacuum-seal infusion jars and prep their cocktail menu.

“We can’t do any of this stuff without a kitchen,” Dalton said. “She’s helping us grow. Without her, we wouldn’t have this dream right now.”

Another renter is Tony Dalman, owner of Big Red Truck. He sells a variety of food including barbecued pulled pork, sandwiches and tacos around Snohomish County.

Dalman, 47, of Marysville, said the kitchen is a necessity.

“I’ve got an hour commute to do any kind of business,” said Dalman, who works mainly out of a commissary kitchen in Lynnwood. “This is 10 minutes away from my home, where I have my truck. I’m just excited to have this here.”

The kitchen has six work stations, two convection ovens, a gas cooktop with four burners, a commercial refrigerator and cooler, chest freezer and a 20-quart stand mixer. Turner said a dishwasher will be installed within the next few weeks.

The space also has storage racks available — which Frances Turner says are a must. She knows this from experience.

When renting a commercial kitchen, Turner had to carry in baking supplies from her car. She once dropped a 25-pound bucket of sugar in the parking lot.

“Carrying it in and out was kind of a pain,” she said. “This way, they don’t have to haul it in.”

Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, ethompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.

If you go

PNW Commissary Kitchen, 10208 State Ave., Suite A, Marysville, is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. Call 360-386-8167 or email frances.pnwcommissarykitchen@gmail.com.

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