In 2008, Cindy Pickering, Founder and Owner of Your Pro Kitchen developed the first shared kitchen and culinary incubator concept out of need.
When Pickering started her own salsa business, she ran into the same issues that many other “foodpreneures” face. She needed a commercial kitchen and space for her growing business. She set out determined to quickly build her own kitchen in order to keep up with the demands of her growing salsa business. As word spread about Pickering’s fully certified, inspected kitchen other foodpreneures ask to share space in the new area. They soon began renting. Pickering’s vision and desire to help others succeed in the food business without the expense and hassle she faced gave her the idea of a shared kitchen concept. Soon after selling the salsa business, Your Pro Kitchen was developed. It was the first government inspected and certified kitchen of it’s kind in the area and an opportunity for start up food business owners and budding entrepreneurs.
Pickering’s background in media (Fox Television, NBC Television, Clear Channel Media, Tampa Tribune and NHL team, Tampa Bay Lightning ) has helped her develop the food incubator portion of Your Pro Kitchen. In addition to helping foodpreneures start a their business, she also aids with marketing tips. Her background is helpful and often relied upon by clients needing to know how to market their products to retail or wholesale outlets.
As Pickering opened her first kitchen, a 2,000 square feet location in Largo FL, she was faced with expanding to accommodate the overwhelming response of people in need. Since 2008, Pickering has expanded the Largo location four times and is now operating a total of 11,500 square feet. To her surprise some clients were driving four hours away just to use the space. She then realized the need reached outside of the Tampa/St. Petersburg market. Catering to that need the Your Pro Kitchen franchise began in early 2012. The first Your Pro Kitchen franchise was sold in 2012 and opened in Naples, FL in 2013.
To date Pickering has opened six franchises throughout Florida and is working on several more. Her vision now expands to growing the franchise on a national level. The steps are already beginning to form on that venture as she prepares to open franchise kitchens in Dallas TX, Akron OH, and Sacramento CA very soon.
Pickering is a mother and grandmother of seven grand children ranging from eighteen-years old to two-years old. She was born and raised on a farm in Brandon, Florida.
Pickering is very active in her community supporting and promoting local business owners. Your Pro Kitchen is a major sponsor for Keep Saint Pete Local and the Best Buddies program. Pickering is very passionate and “Pay It Forward” is her motto. She definitely stands by her belief to help others.