Brooklyn’s Pfizer building houses a who’s who of both up-and-coming and established specialty food businesses: Brooklyn Soda Works, Island Creek Oysters, McClure’s Pickles, Nordic Breads, People’s Pops and Sfoglini Pasta Shop all call it home. And this summer, there’ll be some (very) new kids on the block: DinnerLab and the NYCEDC are opening Brooklyn Foodworks, a food products and innovation lab that provides kitchen and coworking space to hopeful culinary upstarts.
DinnerLab, the pop-up dinner series that combines unknown chefs with adventuresome eaters, has grown rapidly over the past several years. And they’ve noticed something along the way: a lot of the talent in the food world is gravitating toward ready-to-eat packaged food. They’re hoping to adapt their model, which places a high premium on direct feedback, for a mentoring program in this sphere. “We are foreseeing the space as leveraging a lot of what we’ve built around the country for these member-based supper clubs and using the same people to get critical, helpful feedback to someone who, for example, has a new recipe for almond butter,” Drew Barrett, the president of Brooklyn Foodworks, says.
They’ll provide personalized mentorship in all aspects of starting a food company from production methodology to marketing and labeling. In exchange for kitchen space and consultation, tenants will be expected to pay $500-$2000 each month with some scholarships available. “We’re looking for people who want to take their passion projects and build them into full-time businesses,” Barrett says. Looking for kitchen space? Sign up here for more updates.