Today, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Dinner Lab announced the grand opening of Brooklyn FoodWorks, a 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.
“New York City’s food manufacturing sector employs over 16,000 people and counting, and Brooklyn FoodWorks provides an environment for dozens of emerging businesses to create and sustain these jobs locally,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “By providing these diverse businesses with affordable access to the tools and skills they need to operate successfully, we are helping to ensure this diverse sector continues to expand across all five boroughs.”
Constructed and operated by DL Labs, LLC, a subsidiary of Dinner Lab, Inc. and housed in the old Pfizer manufacturing plant at 630 Flushing Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, 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.
At full capacity, Brooklyn FoodWorks will accommodate approximately 100 businesses. Of the entrepreneurs currently registered, 88 percent are minority or woman owned.
“By providing affordable, turn-key kitchen solutions along with robust business programming and mentorship, Brooklyn FoodWorks helps our members focus on getting their products out to market successfully and building sustainable businesses,” said Brooklyn FoodWorks President Drew Barrett. “We’re thrilled to be a platform to support the best food innovations of Brooklyn and NYC for years to come.”
Brooklyn FoodWorks will also 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.
The Office of the Brooklyn Borough President contributed a total of $1.3 million from its capital budget to build out the facility for Brooklyn FoodWorks and to develop programs in the next several years.
“Brooklyn has become internationally renowned as a center for innovation in food, where cuisines from every part of the world are re-imagined by chefs whose artistry defines good taste in 2016,” said Borough President Adams. “Brooklyn FoodWorks offers a unique opportunity for aspiring chefs, many of them from the community of Bedford-Stuyvesant, to cook the dishes that will draw diners to restaurants and food trucks in Brooklyn and to prepare the artisanal foods that stock pantries around the world. These are the leaders of the ‘foodie’ renaissance that continues to create jobs and build the economy of our borough.”
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.