R.I.’s first culinary incubator now accepting member applications
THE STATE'S FIRST food business incubator, Warren-based Hope & Main, is now accepting applications. Currently under construction, the completed renovation will provide kitchen space and storage to early-stage culinary businesses at affordable rental rates.
WARREN – Hope & Main LLC, Rhode Island’s first food business incubator, is now accepting applications for its inaugural class.
The early-decision application deadline is Dec. 17, and selected startups will be notified on or before March 1, 2014. After that deadline, new members will be admitted as vacancies become available.
Hope & Main can incubate up to 50 businesses, according to its website, and members will pay a $100 annual membership fee in addition to monthly rental fees based on the storage space and number of kitchen hours used.
“Given the outpouring of interest in our incubator program and the fact that kitchen space is limited, we expect the initial application process to be highly competitive,” says Lisa Raiola, founder and president of Hope & Main, in a release on Tuesday.
“The incubator program is designed for early-stage food startups who have a scalable food product concept and a viable business plan but aren’t yet ready to occupy professional facilities of their own. Ultimately, we’re looking for ambitious entrepreneurs with a great idea interested in growing a successful food-related company.”
Hope & Main’s 17,500-square-foot Warren location, currently under construction, will open in the summer of 2014. The completed incubation center will feature three shared-use commercial kitchens, including a gluten-free kitchen, over 6,000 square feet of production space, cold and dry storage, a demonstration kitchen, and a 2,000-square-foot community room.
The Hope & Main incubator program aims to give food entrepreneurs and early-stage culinary businesses the chance to grow by providing kitchens, equipment and storage at affordable rental rates and offering business support services. Members will also have the chance to consult and collaborate with mentors and industry experts, and to work with the Hope & Main team to polish their business models, according to the release.