New Food Business Incubator to Open in East Garfield Park

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

By: Ashmar Mandou

East Garfield Park will welcome a new food and beverage business incubator, The Hatchery, to open next year. The Hatchery will support local food and beverage entrepreneurs by equipping them with tools and resources. The Hatchery is a partnership between two local nonprofits, Accion and ICNC, and two corporate partners, the Kellogg Company and Conagra Brands. The approximately $30 million new facility is expected to create an estimated 150 jobs in the first year. The Hatchery will provide a variety of services and space for food businesses, including: food grade space for approximately 100 start-up or early stage food entrepreneurs, shared kitchens, storage, and office space, plus areas for workforce training sessions and community meetings. Through a partnership with the Garfield Park Community Council (GPCC), access to many of these spaces and services will be offered to West Side residents at a significantly discounted rate. “The Garfield Park Community Council is excited to work with the Hatchery team to help residents start and grow local food businesses in Garfield Park,” Angela Taylor, Garfield Park Community Council Board member and Garfield Park Neighborhood Market Manger said. “We believe that The Hatchery will help to create a local food hub in Garfield Park and serve as both an economic and social engine for the community.”

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

The Hatchery will also host Garfield Park’s neighborhood market. The facility is receiving support from the Kellogg Company, Conagra Brands, the Coleman Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and the City of Chicago, among others. The Hatchery will further strengthen Chicago’s food and beverage industry, which is currently second largest in the nation with 4,500 companies, 130,000 employees and $32 billion in sales. Food manufacturing accounts for the majority of the industry’s regional employment and over a third of sales. “For more than 20 years, Accion has provided the capital, coaching, and connections that entrepreneurs need to grow, particularly in Chicago’s most challenging neighborhoods. We believe that this is the most effective way to create jobs and wealth in the neighborhoods that need them most,” Accion CEO Brad McConnell said. “The Hatchery will help us expand on that mission by providing affordable physical space to aspiring food entrepreneurs. We look forward to working closely with our partners in East Garfield to help the community grow.”

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