The Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) officially launched an innovative facility aimed at providing a home to entrepreneurs in various fields of business, particularly food creation, on January 19.
The Entrepreneur Space Food and Business Incubator, 36-46 37th St., Long Island City, provides a home for emerging individuals, businesses and organizations seeking offices, classrooms and a meeting space.
The opening ceremony was held in the large commercial kitchen space, the facility’s main feature. QEDC President Seth Bornstein and NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky joined Borough President Helen Marshall in welcoming visitors who sampled edible creations from more than 40 clients at the incubator.
“This space will prove to be a success story with a legacy of helping individuals and businesses in a multitude of ways,” Marshall said. “The space it provides, the programs, the counseling and the opportunities to grow are winning ingredients that make a recipe for success. I thank all those involved and look forward to watching the birth of new endeavors, thanks to this incubator.”
The area includes four commercial grade kitchens and is open around-the-clock to meet the demands of tenants. The Entrepreneur Space is managed by Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen, a foodmanufacturing consultancy founded in 1993 by Katherine Gregory. Currently, 90 businesses are using the kitchens to produce products ranging from pies and Indian delicacies, to organic dog biscuits and catering services.
“The Entrepreneur Space is an innovative theme park of ideas and resources for our local small businesses,” Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said. “This 5,000 square foot one-stop shop will provide endless economic opportunities for small business owners and I am thrilled to see such a communal and economically stimulating workspace take roots in my district in Long Island City.”
The four kitchens include a variety of ovens, tables, counters and supplies including mixers of various sizes, a dough processor, steel jacketed tilt kettles, dough rounder, immersion blender and a cold room for finishing. Cold dry storage and lockers are also available and there is a supply of equipment and small wares available for tenant use.
Visitors to the event were able to indulge in the many food items created at the facility including Chia Chargers. Creators Catherine Mangon and Jason Walsh were on hand passing out samples. Each bite-sized piece contains whole oats, pecans, cranberries, walnuts, peanut butter and chia seeds.
“It helps build endurance for people on the go,” Walsh said
Other creations made at the incubator included Havana Hava Cookie made by hand by Marisa Angebrandt and Cake and Shake, the successful and mobile organic cupcake and milkshake stand that travels around Manhattan.
“This kitchen has really made my business into what it is today,” Owner Gina Ojile said.
Astoria residents Fanny Reboul and Victoria Khaydakova, creators of the locally sold health food product, Zoj Granola, were also in attendance handing out packs of their granola.
The kitchens are available for rent on an as-needed basis for 8- hour shifts and cost $231.00 per day shift, 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and $189.00 per night shift, 4:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. and $154.00 for overnight shifts, 1:00 a.m. until 7:30 a.m.
Rates include garbage pick-up, cleaning supplies and the use of a part-time kitchen assistant for two hours during each shift.
“The Entrepreneur’s Space helps culinary entrepreneurs meet one of their biggest challenges, gaining access to affordable commercial grade equipment,” Pinsky said. “By making it easier for new food businesses to launch in New York City, we are helping to support the food production, manufacturing and distribution sector a part of our economy with great opportunity for growth.”
In addition to offering low-cost kitchen rentals, the Entrepreneur Space includes a small business incubator with seven workstations and two private offices. Desks are available from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., seven days a week. Rents range from $350 per month for a single desk to $750 per month for a two-person office. Two classrooms are also available for organizations needing to secure space for job training classes or seminars.
“By launching the Entrepreneur’s Space, the Queens Economic Development Corporation is holding true to its mission of creating and retaining jobs in the borough and the city,” Bornstein said. “The incubator will be a home for start up businesses, provide business counseling and offer networking opportunities for all those seeking to strengthen the economy through innovative entrepreneurship.”