K I C
In 2017, LAUNCH began evaluating what a kitchen incubator would look like in Chattanooga, TN. We spent time getting to know the needs of entrepreneurs in the food industry and researching how kitchen incubators have operated in other cities. We found that shared kitchen spaces and mentoring programs increase an entrepreneur's chance for success.
This is why we started the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga.
The KIC paves the way for economic growth in minority communities by
Creating accessibility and affordability for its clients
Encouraging collaboration within our ecosystem
Empowering new businesses to build a following
Removing barriers for start-ups, caterers, food truck owners, and product manufacturers.
Ultimately, the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga can strengthen businesses in the foodservice industry.
After unearthing this great need in our city, we set out to find the perfect space. Through the generosity of Urban Story Ventures, the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga has already set up shop in this incredible 7950 sq. ft former culinary school. We are equipped to accommodate up to 40 tenants in this fully operational shared commercial kitchen and bakery.
The KIC provides space for:
A food truck commissary and market
Kitchen rental for monthly & hourly tenants
6-9 month course for new food entrepreneurs
Increased community access to food
Laboratory for businesses to experiment, pivot, and determine their next steps
The original plan was to open doors in 2021, but in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we fast-tracked and put this space to use in May of 2020.
Through partnerships with the CFGC, Footprint Foundation, Urban Story Ventures, and many others in our community, we were able to provide over 27,000 meals to at-risk seniors and income to 9 local small business owners.
We titled this pilot effort The LAUNCH Provisions Project.
But it didn't stop there. Since then, the Good Kitchen supplied us with 6,000 more meals to be delivered across Chattanooga. The Chattanooga Area Food Bank currently donates 500 boxes of food each week for us to distribute, and we are gearing up for another 2 weeks of deliveries to seniors! This pilot has shown us the vast need in our community for a food-based incubator and proven that this space can house our future work.
We have the opportunity to create our city’s first non-profit kitchen incubator, the chance to support food entrepreneurs during a critical time. There is a high demand from our community and the entrepreneurs are ready to move. The market is ripe for the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga.
Join with us as we build hope and equity for women and minority entrepreneurs through
the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga.
The LAUNCH Provisions Project
The LAUNCH Provisions Project is providing small foodservice businesses with much-needed income and providing meals to seniors in the Chattanooga area.
Every week our amazing team serves 2,000 meals prepared by these local food business owners: Christine Nguyen - Mama Crunk's Pies, Mahogany Hudgins - Wings Top Tots, Mark Holland - Belaire Catering, Pat Rowe - BBQ Rowe and Catering, and Terrence Locke - Chef Express. We are also partnering with LAUNCH CHA alumni Jamaal Macon of Exclusive Cleaning Professionals and April Ashley of Freedom From Laundry to keep our space sparkling clean.
We are taking great care to follow COVID-19 best practices and procedures at every turn. The health and safety of every person involved in The LAUNCH Provisions Project is our number one consideration. For this reason, we are limiting the number of people in the kitchen at one time and each delivery volunteer is given masks, gloves, & confirmed to be healthy with normal body temperature.