North and Central Brooklyn to get culinary incubator
by Lisa A. Fraser
Feb 16, 2012 | 1451 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz has named East Williamsburg-based 3rd Ward, as the operator of a Central Brooklyn food-related small business incubator.

The organization has been awarded a $1.5 million grant to develop the program in Brooklyn, and will open a Culinary Incubator with the support of the borough and the assistance of the New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

According to Markowitz, the incubator program will address the economic and food-access issues plaguing North and Central Brooklyn communities by “providing affordable space, business acumen, as well as the equipment necessary to help a small business get off the ground.”

The new incubator will open in 2013 and will have everything members normally get from 3rd Ward: diverse classes at all levels, professional tools and equipment, influencer-led events, and a community of inspiring, creative individuals.

According to 3rd Ward, when the incubator opens, it will be easier than ever to bring culinary ideas to life, whether professionally or just as a passionate home cook.

The incubator will offer classes on traditional food preparation techniques, modern technology, drink making, urban agriculture, health and nutrition and professional development. Facilities will include a baking and pastry kitchen, a meat curing lab, a beverage lab, classrooms and event space, as well as a large shared kitchen with specialized equipment.

The space will also offer lectures, tastings and free seminars to the public. And a cafe and market will ensure healthy meals, fresh produce, and cooking ingredients

“New York is home to some of the world’s best chefs, inventive food producers, and game-changing culinary entrepreneurs,” writes the organization on its website. “We hope to offer New York a dynamic, world-class incubator that will breed a new wave of food innovation, education, and economic activity.”

In its current space, 3rd Ward offers studios and work space for artisans for daily or monthly use. The center currently caters to beginners looking for a creative outlet or seasoned professionals in search of a full-time work space solution.

Councilwoman Diana Reyna, whose district is home to 3rd Ward, said the group would develop “a much needed business incubator program” and prioritize “economic development in North and Central Brooklyn.”

She also congratulated 3rd Ward for their successful bid.

“As the city and 3rd Ward move forward with this project, I urge them to focus on the areas in Brooklyn that desperately need this sort of economic stimulus,” Reyna said. “They need to identify a neighborhood that would benefit most from greater access to locally produced food and an increase in affordable space.”

3rd Ward will have six months to identify a site for their food incubator.

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