Several years ago Birmingham chef Ashley Tarver began selling her flavor-infused olive oils at the Pepper Place Market to much acclaim. Being involved with the Market plugged Tarver into a supportive network of entrepreneurs, chefs, makers and friends who encouraged her to push her craft and turn the Copper Pot Kitchen into a viable business. With some research and development, a little bit of branding, and a whole lot of love, Tarver came up with the Copper Pot Kitchen and has been selling her oils online and in stores to much acclaim ever since.

Now, Tarver is planting her flag at Pepper Place with her forthcoming Middle-Eastern-inspired restaurant, Za’atar, set to open in the second half of 2017.

Throughout this journey, Tarver has met many other chefs and culinary dabblers who, like her, have big ideas but who might lack the resources to make them a reality. That’s why Za’atar’s kitchen will be made available for rental to those who need it. “There’s nothing like this in the city,” said Tarver, “and I’m excited to make this available and give back to the community. Pepper Place means a lot to me, and they’ve been so encouraging and supportive of my work. It’s such an important part of Birmingham, and I’m excited to be part of it.”