JEFFERSON — The High Country Commercial Kitchen had its grand unveiling Monday, Oct. 21, with a ribbon cutting courtesy of the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce. On hand for the event included all five Ashe County Commissioners, Sheriff B. Phil Howell, representatives of the Chamber and the Ashe County Cooperative Extension. The kitchen is located at Family Central in Jefferson.

After the ribbon was cut, Ashe County Cooperative Extension Director Travis Birdsell took the opportunity to speak to the crowd and welcome them to the kitchen.

“I can’t thank the commissioners and the county enough for their support,” Birdsell said. “This is a regional resource that’s available to everybody that hopefully expands small business in the High Country.”

Commissioner Larry Dix said he was impressed with how the kitchen turned out, saying it will be a big boost to small businesses and the High Country as a whole.

The kitchen is outfitted with security cameras, keyless entry and Wi-Fi, and should someone have the required key, the kitchen will be available at all hours.

The kitchen was originally opened in the early 2000s, last seeing operation from 2012 to 2014.

Ashe Post & Times previously reported the extension used $30,000 it was appropriated in the Ashe County fiscal year 2019-2020 budget for the project and several county government departments have worked since July to re-open the commercial kitchen.

According to Birdsell, the commercial kitchen space can be rented on a first-come, first served basis by calling the extension office at (336) 846-5850.

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