Written by Melissa Kalka, Kitchen Manager for the WT Enterprise Center. For more information about the WT Enterprise Center visit http://www.incubationworks.com
In anticipation of opening the new commercial kitchen, which will be a Kitchen Incubator at the Enterprise Center, one might ask “What is a Kitchen Incubator?” With the explosion of the specialty food industry, it is a way to break into that market. Retail sales of specialty foods are generating revenues of more than $48 billion a year and averaging annual growth of more than 8 percent. To some, this means great opportunity – along with a formidable challenge.
I am very excited and fortunate to be in on the ground floor of this endeavor and to learn and grow with our new kitchen clients. How to prepare for the opportunity and challenge of taking your food product to the appropriate store shelf will be the goal of the incubator. New products can be tested in the commercial kitchen without the tremendous initial investment required for new food startups.
Suppose you have just completed a successful church bazaar where your homemade jelly or salsa or some product has sold out and your friends and neighbors are urging you to start producing and selling, using your family recipe that has been handed down through the years. You haven’t the foggiest idea where to begin! That is where the Kitchen Incubator comes in.
In addition to having access to a shared use kitchen, you will get assistance in licensing, packaging, labeling, pricing, storage, shipping, and how to advertise, promote, sell and market your product. All of these aspects are part of what is required to be successful in the marketplace.
At the Enterprise Center Kitchen Incubator, food manufacturers can transform a hobby and a talent into a business and turn food ideas into an profitable endeavor. Come check out our new challenging world of specialty food production and marketing!