You were raised on Easy Bake ovens + Bobby Flay. You’ve always loved cooking, but during the pandemic, you got good — like, really good. Soon enough, you even created a few unique dishes yourself. Now, your friends are convinced that you should open a restaurant. The only problem? You have no idea where to begin.
At the same time you were perfecting those recipes, Chattanooga’s kitchen incubator was getting equipped with everything you need to get that restaurant idea off the ground.
What is it?
A product of LAUNCH Chattanooga, the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga is a space wherein aspiring food + beverage entrepreneurs — with a focus on minorities + underrepresented folks — can work on their ideas while gaining essential business skills. It features:
- Commercial ovens, grills + stovetops
- Communal cookware
- Prep tables + equipment
- Dry, frozen + cold storage
The space has a commercial kitchen, for classic restaurant and food businesses; a pastry kitchen, for aspiring cake bosses; and a licensed food truck commissary, aka, a space for prep work + cleanup as required by the health department.
How is this different from Proof?
While both food-related incubators, the kitchen incubator is larger + Proof is a retail space rather than nonprofit.
Think of it like this: Proof is the perfect incubator for chefs who are ready to test their concepts + build brand awareness without taking the risks involved with starting a new restaurant. The Kitchen Incubator is best for folks who want to get an idea off the ground and learn more about the business side of entrepreneurship.
When researching other kitchen incubators, one thing stood out — you can never have enough storage. So, the former culinary school is undergoing renovations to better serve entrepreneurs:
- More refrigeration to fit cold + perishable products
- Four full spaces for Department of Agriculture businesses (i.e. spices, rubs, and mixes, like local business Chei-Man Tea)
- Expanded pantry space
The incubator hopes to have these renovations done by late summer or early fall, when it’ll then be able to accommodate 34 businesses.
**Disclaimer: We are not suggesting that starting a restaurant or new business is as easy as coming up with fun recipes during the pandemic + testing them out. Running a business, especially a restaurant, is hard work — that’s why kitchen incubators such as this one are so beneficial to entrepreneurs.