New Commercial Kitchen to Help Food Start-Ups

December 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment

Finally there’s hope for La Marqueta, the ailing marketplace in Spanish Harlem that was once a commercial hotspot for the Latino community.   The push for local food has propelled the New York City Council and the Economic Development Corporation to build a 3,000-square-foot commercial kitchen in one of the surviving buildings of the city-owned market.  The commercial kitchen will serve as an incubator for start-up artisanal and ethnic food businesses in New York City.

The $1.5 million kitchen, which is expected to open in the next few months, is part of an initiative to create affordable space for food manufacturers, said Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a speech introducing a plan to increase the availability of regional food in New York City.

Hot Bread Kitchen, a social enterprise dedicated to training immigrant women in artisanal baking and helping them launch food businesses, will be the incubator’s anchor tenant and run the “incubates” program.  The maker of multi-ethnic breads expects to have 19 businesses working out of the incubator by the end of the first year.  It aims to have 29 businesses in operation in five years, with 19 graduating from the incubator annually.  By the end of five years, Hot Bread Kitchen plans to have 116 jobs created, according to a press release.

The new facility will have two production kitchens, two prep kitchens, a chocolate kitchen, a specialty production space and dough room, as well as dry and cold storage areas.  It will be fully equipped for multiple uses and made available on a part-time or full-time rental basis.

The incubates program is open to all early stage businesses, with priority given to food entrepreneurs from the Harlem community.  Participants rent kitchen space at below-market rates and receive business training and culinary support.

For more information about the program, please click here.

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