Goal: Helping Start-Up Food Entrepreneurs
County Executive Isiah Leggett will announce the kick-off of Montgomery County’s kitchen incubator project at the Marriott Teaching Kitchen at the Universities at Shady Grove on Wednesday.
Envisioned as a way to help entrepreneurs take advantage of the growing demand for artisan food and the expanding buy-local movement, the kitchen incubator will provide equipment and workspace, technical and business training and help companies gain access to new markets.
Leggett will be joined by Karen Roberts of Karen Kay Cakes, Jonas Singer of Union Kitchen (which is already engaged in a similar project in D.C.), Stewart Edelstein of the Universities at Shady Grove, County Chief Innovation Officer Dan Hoffman and Economic Development Director Steve Silverman.
“This facility will foster the growth of small businesses and provide new workforce opportunities for our residents. Part of what makes this project so special to me, personally, is that it represents our commitment to creating economic opportunities for all facets of Montgomery County,” said Leggett.
Union Kitchen and Streetsense, a Bethesda-based company, have been chosen to advise the County on the first stages of the incubator. “Beginning the path to launching a food incubator is a wonderful step for Montgomery County, where we have seen an explosion in interest in start-up, locally owned food businesses. A food incubator allows people to not just dream, but to achieve, creating economic wealth, jobs, and businesses that bring all of us, as customers, great food and experiences. Union Kitchen is thrilled to be a part of the process where we can continue to grow our impact and support neighbors in building the communities that they want to live in. Plus, we’re hoping to enjoy some delicious meals along the way!,” said Singer.
“We frequently get calls from people who have a family recipe or a special culinary skill that they want to scale into something bigger. In addition to space, they really need business questions to be answered and mentoring from experts in the field,” said Steve Silverman, the county’s economic development director. Silverman says the kitchen incubator will build local entrepreneurs’ capacity to respond to the demand for locally produced goods.
“The Montgomery County kitchen incubator will allow me and so many small businesses such as myself to get to the next level. It will set an example for the Washington area. I would like to thank Ike Leggett and his staff for moving this forward,” says Roberts.
When: Wednesday, October 29 10 AM
Where: Universities at Shady Grove, 9600 Gudelsky Drive, Building II, Marriott Teaching Kitchen, in Rockville
Contact: Patrick Lacefield 240-777-6507, Dan Hoffman 240-777-2553