Company rises from the ashes of Phoenix Theatre fire in Lewes

Norman Baker and Matthew Gray
Norman Baker and Matthew Gray

A new business which was set up in the aftermath of the Phoenix Theatre fire was officially opened by Lewes MP Norman Baker on Friday February 20.

The Prep Kitchen at the Old Foundry Workshops in Lewes was founded by Mark Gray, the co-owner of the Phoenix Theatre.

It is a purpose-built, fully equipped, professional kitchen available for hire by caterers and individuals who usually work from home on their catering projects.

The idea for the business was born of Mark’s personal experiences in the catering world, where work often found him in need of a functional prep kitchen on a part time basis.

Mark said: “After the tragedy of the fire, and with a large hole in my life, I decided to get back into catering.

“Unfortunately, I once again discovered that if I required a temporary kitchen to deal with a particularly large project, that such a facility just wasn’t available - so I decided to create one, and then offer it to other caterers with the same dilemma.

“I kitted out the kitchen with professional caterers in mind, but the flexible nature of the booking system means it will also work for individuals who are looking to start a business, or take their business to the next level, without the need to invest in property and equipment.”

The Prep Kitchen opened for the first time on February 16, with two drop-in open days being held on February 20 and 21 between 11am and 5pm.

The Phoenix Theatre in Lewes was completely destroyed by fire in March 2014.

About 40 firefighters from stations across East Sussex fought to save the North Street building, which served as a theatre and community arts space.

They managed to stop the blaze spreading to adjacent buildings and nobody was injured in the drama.

The fully equipped, professional kitchen is available for hire by caterers and individuals.

The business is based at 32 North Street. For more information call 07742 697834.