How to Design a Church Kitchen

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When designing a church kitchen it is imperative to understand the specific needs of your congregation and building. Once you begin the process you will quickly find that it becomes as much fun as work. Enjoy the fruits of your labor–straight from the kitchen, that is.

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Work with what you have. Don't try to overdo it. If you have limited space, create a step-saver kitchen with all the work areas near one another. If plumbing or electrical issues prevent you from moving the sink or stove, leave them where they are and work around them.

Stick to your budget. Focus on the practical instead of the newest fads in kitchen gadgets and materials. Important items include an easy-to-maintain counter surface and durable cabinets and flooring. You don't need expensive granite counters, especially if they stretch the budget. (There is nothing wrong with going high end, but blowing your budget to do so may be perceived as frivolous by your congregation.)

Assess your needs. If you run a soup kitchen, a commercial-grade stove and oven are in order. On the flip side, if the church kitchen is used only for the occasional holiday potluck, a regular stove will suffice. If the kitchen is the hub of church life, a breakfast style bar and extra seating are needed. Consider a freezer-free refrigerator that will provide more room for refreshments.

Pay attention to detail. The layout of your kitchen is very important. If your kitchen is often used for public gatherings or just a place to congregate, make sure the layout is conducive to movement. An open kitchen with a center island and bar makes it easy for church members to move in and out with ease. A closed kitchen with cooks only in mind should have entrance doors with windows to minimize injuries or spills as people carry hot dishes in and out of the kitchen.

Use skilled volunteers and laborers. The kitchen is not the place for Children's Church kids to hone their newly acquired skills with a hammer. Because of fire codes and permit laws you need a skilled team to help with the design. Use only a licensed electrician to work with wires, hookups and electricity. The same goes for your plumber-a licensed and bonded plumber could save you money and headaches down the road.

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