Local business offering kitchen space as a resource for area cooks

Just in time for summer holidays and eased COVID-19 restrictions, Donald Hill opened the doors to his commercial kitchen at D&D Grill Rental in Clayton last week to be a resource to local cooks and bakers.

The kitchen will provide a space to prepare food for events for bakers, personal chefs, and food truck vendors. The expansion is one of Hill’s many ideas he has for the business.

Hill added the 900-square-foot kitchen to the business at 5431 Westbrooke Road, so people have a place to prepare food or desserts that don’t have the space or resources to start their own business.

“It gives them the opportunity to get their business started. I’ve met single moms that are happy about this because they want to start their own business but don’t have enough money for it,” he said. “We really are excited just to see the joy on these individuals faces for them to use something like this.”

Hill opened D&D grill in 2012 after he retired from General Motors after 34 years. He found the property while driving through Clayton. He said he was at the right place at the right time and the building chose him instead of the other way around.

When he told his wife Donna he wanted to open the grill rental, she laughed. However, when she saw that her husband was determined to make it happen and the response the business received, she told her friends “he’s laughing to the bank now.”

“We’ve been here since 2012 and it’s grown, as you can see, since then. We’re just coming up with different ideas,” he said.

For almost 10 years the couple has been renting grills to residents and city leaders for gatherings or holiday celebrations. As more people get comfortable to go places and host events, Hill said he anticipates business to pick up. With Father’s Day and Juneteenth approaching quickly, they are completely booked.

The business started with two grills and has since grown to 10 and the Hill family said they could use even more. Those that rent the grills can have them dropped off and picked up.

“It’s convenient for people when they’re bringing coolers, charcoal, and tents,” Donna Hill said.

They believe the same for the new commercial kitchen space as it can accommodate three cooks at a time that are able to rent the space for up to four hours for $80 and a refundable deposit. The kitchen has already secured its first client, a personal chef and caterer.

Also on Hill’s list of business endeavors, are Christmas trees. Last year the Hill family made the decision to sell Christmas tress which Hill admits resulted in a loss of profit for the business but has hopes to do it again.

“Just to see the kids running through and looking at the Christmas trees to pick out the tree they wanted and to see the smiles on their faces. That made it worth it,” he said.

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