Aspiring food entrepreneurs finally have an incubator space in Rhode Island. After years of planning and fundraising, the non-profit organization Hope & Main Culinary Business Incubator has purchased the former Main Street School building from the Town of Warren, and is renovating the space and accepting applications for new businesses interested in utilizing the space and the organization’s resources.
“We’re not just giving people a kitchen and turning them loose,” Hope & Main founder and president Lisa Raiola says. “We’re helping them and guiding them through business planning, financing, and licensing. We know that making a successful business is more than just having a great recipe or a catchy idea.” To that end, incubees will have access to the facility’s kitchen space, storage and business center, guidance on developing a business plan, secur- ing licensing and following regulations, and training on Hope & Main’s equipment, as well as the support of mentors in the food industry.
“The board is made up of really great people. They’re in the business, and they want to help other people succeed at it,” Raiola says. “This is what they want to do. They want to mentor.”
The build-out of the space includes three commercial kitchens, one of which is gluten-free, a business center, shipping and receiving area, a demo kitchen and a 2,000 square foot community room for events and seminars. These resources, along with Hope & Main’s mentor programs, will help the program meet its goal of graduating new businesses into the community once they’ve met goals that they’ve set in their business plans. 691 Main Street, Warren. 401-297-7294.