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Press Release

NYCEDC And Brooklyn Borough President Adams Announce Selection Of Dinner Lab To Operate Central Brooklyn Culinary Incubator

Mar 10 2015

Culinary Incubator Will Provide Commercial Kitchen Space and Equipment, Business Mentorship and Networking Opportunities to Local Food Entrepreneurs in Bedford-Stuyvesant

BROOKLYN, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams today announced the selection of Dinner Lab, Inc. to construct and operate Brooklyn FoodWorks, a licensed shared kitchen and culinary incubator in Central Brooklyn designed to provide affordable space to help burgeoning local food entrepreneurs as they prototype, launch and develop their businesses. Located in the old Pfizer manufacturing plant at 630 Flushing Avenue in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, the 10,000 square-foot facility will feature ample commercial-grade cooking equipment to meet the needs of a wide variety of food production businesses along with a co-working and classroom space where entrepreneurs can collaborate and learn new skills to enhance their businesses on a 24/7 basis. The incubator will provide various personalized business mentorship and programming offerings designed to address crucial aspects of creating sustainable businesses, including branding and marketing, product liability and insurance, early stage financing, and distribution. Additionally, Brooklyn FoodWorks will be a home for local food discussion and innovation and will host a variety of regularly-scheduled networking events, tastings and social gatherings that will be open to the public.

"Throughout all five boroughs, we strive to create an environment where entrepreneurs in all sectors can build businesses that grow and succeed," said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. "Brooklyn FoodWorks will provide food entrepreneurs with not just the kitchen space, but also many of the tools and mentorship opportunities they need to thrive, helping burgeoning local entrepreneurs expand a food manufacturing sector that supports thousands of jobs across all five boroughs."

"Brooklyn FoodWorks will soon be 'serving up' the future of culinary innovation right in the heart of Bedford-Stuyvesant, and it promises to be a delicious future! I am excited for what Dinner Lab, Inc. will bring to the old Pfizer manufacturing plant, transforming it into a hub of learning and economic growth. This culinary incubator will also foster Brooklyn's one-of-a-kind 'foodie' culture, which has made our borough a five-star dining destination and creator of top-selling artisanal products that populate pantries from coast to coast. Entrepreneurs that are 'hungry for success' will find Brooklyn FoodWorks to be a great launching pad for their businesses," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“We are thrilled to be working together with the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office and NYCEDC to bring this fantastic project to life,” said Brooklyn FoodWorks President Drew Barrett. “The Brooklyn FoodWorks will be a platform to support and fuel the aspirations of this city’s vibrant food entrepreneur community, which is already second to none. We look forward to leveraging a diverse team of mentors and experts as well as the national reach of Dinner Lab to help bring the best of Brooklyn and New York City to the broader culinary marketplace.”

Selection of tenants to utilize Brooklyn FoodWorks will be application-based and various tiers of membership will be offered to meet the diverse needs of New York City’s food entrepreneur community. Membership plans and rates will be established prior to the opening of the incubator and will feature flexible choices in line with the City’s goals of providing affordable options for New York City entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs in need of additional financial support can apply for a $100,000 scholarship program that will be available to subsidize the cost of facility usage, classes and training workshops. At various times during the year, Brooklyn FoodWorks will also host job fairs, workshops and programming for those interested in new careers in the culinary world.

Brooklyn FoodWorks will begin taking initial applications for membership in the incubator in the coming weeks, and interested parties should visit thebrooklynfoodworks.com or contact [email protected] for more information.

“As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Small Business, a Brooklynite and a food lover, I’m so excited to hear of Dinner Lab, Inc.’s selection as the operators for NYCEDC’s latest incubator – Brooklyn FoodWorks,” said Councilmember Robert Cornegy. “The Pfizer building, located in my district, has already become a hub for small food producers. It’s an ideal location for an incubator to mentor these food entrepreneurs, who are living out their dreams and providing local jobs, while helping to spread the Brooklyn brand. I look forward to seeing these businesses grow and sampling their projects.”

"Entrepreneurship in food manufacturing is at all-time highs in Brooklyn and is only continuing to grow,” said Councilmember Stephen Levin. “I am excited that Dinner Lab will operate the new Brooklyn FoodWorks incubator to help accommodate the growth in this important sector and look forward to seeing the good work that food manufacturers will accomplish at the Incubator."

“With the support of The New York City Economic Development Corporation and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the opening of a culinary incubator in Central Brooklyn will better position local food entrepreneurs to thrive in a competitive industry,” said Councilmember Laurie A. Cumbo. “The success of small business owners and entrepreneurs is integral to the vitality of our city’s economy. Through Brooklyn Foodworks, our borough can continue to spur innovation in the culinary arts and job creation by providing men and women of all ages with the necessary workspace to explore ideas and tailor their business for future patrons.”

Food manufacturing is an important part of New York City’s greater economy, employing over 15,000 New Yorkers. This new incubator – the first in Central Brooklyn – is part of New York City’s growing network of 16 business incubators launched to date, which comprises over 160,000 square feet of low-cost space across all five boroughs. Through this network, NYCEDC has helped provide training and growth opportunities to hundreds of start-ups and small businesses across a variety of sectors in New York City. Over 1,000 startup businesses supporting 1,500 jobs have benefited from City-supported incubators, and these companies have raised more than $170 million in venture funding. Some of these startups have already graduated from the use of incubators, opening their doors in market-rate spaces and continuing to expand and create jobs.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.