BiteUnite brings co-working kitchen and cafe to the Mission

In a twist on the city's growing co-working trend, budding chefs and food entrepreneurs can now launch their businesses at a new co-working kitchen in the Mission.

The kitchen comes from Hong Kong-based BiteUnite, and is located at 600 South Van Ness Ave. It's stocked with commercial-grade equipment, space to hold events, and support for those hoping to jumpstart their own independent culinary ventures. In September, it will also debut an on-site cafe, which will be open to the public.

BiteUnite comes from founder Patta Arkaresvimun, a self-described amateur chef originally hailing from Thailand. After a decade in Hong Kong, where she launched the first BiteUnite location, she's moved to San Francisco to get the second outpost up and running.

Arkaresvimun said that the inspiration for her business stemmed from Hong Kong's high commercial rents and limited commercial kitchen space. Seeing similar hurdles for San Francisco-based food entrepreneurs, she decided to enter the U.S. market as well.

"Running a successful food business is extremely difficult, especially in San Francisco," she said. "With this new space, our first and foremost goal is to help budding food entrepreneurs achieve their dreams."

She said she also hopes to support and empower Mission residents by hiring locally, sourcing food locally and sustainably, and hosting community events in the space.

When the cafe is up and running this September, locals will be able to drop in and taste members' creations, as well as attend their private dinners and cooking classes.

"Ahead of our grand opening, we want to support a range of talented chefs who are in need of their own professional work space," said Arkaresvimun. "They'll be the first to use our commercial kitchen and test out their own recipes with customers, once the cafe is up and running."

Memberships start at $25 per hour, and applications are available on BiteUnite's website.

Members get 24-hour access to the kitchen, which includes fryers, burners, charbroilers, a griddle, a stock pot, convection ovens, dishwashers, mixers, various prep tables, sinks, an ice maker, and coffee maker. For an additional fee, they can also use the full walk-in cooler, freezer, and dry storage area.

They'll also have access to an online business platform, which allows users to post menus, conduct online food ordering, and more. Chefs will also be able to track personal revenue, book time in the kitchen and publish a personal profile on the site.

"Some of my best friends live in San Francisco, and I come back time and again to sample some of the most incredible local food I've ever tried," Arkaresvimun said of the project. "I love this city and I can't wait to see what we cook up together."