Community Food Incubation and the Potential to Create Small Food Businesses in New Brunswick (2016)


community food incubation Rutgers Bloustein Civic Engagement Voorhees Fellows New Brunswick

New Brunswick is home to many current and future food business entrepreneurs. Some are home cooks who would like to start a food business. Others would like to expand their current businesses by selling from a food cart, food truck, or restaurant. Some cooks produce one well developed product such as tamales, pasteles, or empanadas and others cook meals or a variety of products. Many communities are creating food entrepreneurship programs to support cooks like these with the aim of spurring community economic development. Many of these cooks in New Brunswick are low-income and to grow their businesses, need access to low-cost commercial kitchen space, business support and training, insurance, food safety training and certification, and start-up assistance among other things. Having access to certified commercial kitchen space is essential because food business entrepreneurs in New Jersey have to make food in certified commercial kitchens. The 2016 New Brunswick Food Assessment found that there is demand for commercial kitchen space especially in the early morning hours, that cooks may need space to store ingredients and equipment, that many need freezer and refrigeration space, and that most can spend no more than twenty to one hundred dollars per week to rent space (New Brunswick Community Food Assessment, 2016).

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