From a press release:
“Union Kitchen: Food Incubator will open a second facility, growing the ranks of membership and the impact of the incubator on small businesses, jobs, and culture. Currently working with 55 food businesses in NoMa, Union Kitchen’s second facility in Ivy City will more than triple the square footage and house an estimated 70 additional members.
The incubator provides space for production and opportunities for sales, including driving business to members through catering and providing distribution services. “Union Kitchen is a solution to meet the challenges we faced as small business owners at the Blind Dog Café,” said Jonas Singer, a co-founder of Union Kitchen. “At Union Kitchen, we create community and, through that community, the efficiencies to overcome the growth constraints common in the food industry. The response to Union Kitchen has been incredible.”
Union Kitchen removes barriers to entry by eliminating the need for small businesses to take on debt, purchase expensive equipment, sign a long-term lease, enter disadvantageous distribution contracts, or take many of the other risks that business owners have come to expect as the norm for starting a food business. The new facility will include a focus on providing businesses growth opportunities, addressing the gap that many operators face as they grow from micro enterprises to regional businesses.
Currently, Union Kitchen offers a full slate of business services including catering and distribution, and covers operational costs for its members, including utilities, taxes, cleaning, trash collection, and more. For independent operators, these services are costly and a distraction from focusing on what matters most – preparing their best product and finding more customers. Many operators struggle to expand as they run out of space, making scaling impossible and constricting their ability to grow their businesses, customers, and jobs.
“The last year has been very exciting for us,” said Cullen Gilchrist, Union Kitchen co-founder. “A thriving food scene in DC plays such a huge role in the city’s culture, and it’s something that is incredibly important to us. We think of this new opportunity not just as an investment in our company, but also as an investment in our city.”
The Union Kitchen team – comprised of 13 District locals – plans to open their state-of-the-art facility in late 2014. To learn more about membership, catering, distribution, and other Union Kitchen efforts, visit Union Kitchen online.”