Hope & Main Food Business Incubator Announces Inaugural CohortMore than 30 food entrepreneurs will launch culinary businesses this month as members of the state’s first food business incubator program Hope & Main, a forward-thinking, non-profit food business incubator designed to support the local food system and to strengthen the region’s economy, today introduced its inaugural group of members, a cohort of more than 30 culinary entrepreneurs who will be growing early-stage food startups and other food-related businesses from the organization’s headquarters in Warren, Rhode Island. The companies will begin full production at Hope & Main’s newly renovated facility in September 2014. The many resources offered by Hope & Main’s incubator program, coupled with the fact that the organization does not receive equity in its members’ companies, prompted a flood of applications from entrepreneurs seeking to jump-start food ventures. Members hail from across Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and include specialty food product makers, catering companies, food trucks, farmers, personal chefs and nutritionists. Hope & Main will hold a Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting event on October 3 to celebrate the opening of the newly-renovated facility, largely financed through a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Loan, and to introduce the public to the inaugural cohort of member companies. As the state’s first food business incubator, Hope & Main’s nonprofit incubator program gives food startups the chance to grow in their first two to three years without the cost of equipping their own commercial facilities. Members benefit from extensive mentoring, access to fully equipped and affordable workspace, and immersion in an entrepreneurial environment where they can collaborate with industry experts and peers. Hope & Main’s aim is to create a community of support for food entrepreneurs and to serve as a springboard for the launch and growth of new culinary enterprises. Hope & Main is great example the new ‘sharing economy’ where small producers can access an extensive platform of resources that not only reduce expense and exposure to risk but also increase the chance for success,” says Lisa Raiola, founder and president of Hope & Main. “It has given these fledgling entrepreneurs the opportunity to think big even as they start small. It is their promise and enthusiasm that has brought us to this milestone.” The inaugural cohort of entrepreneurs and their food-related startups are: Acacia Food Truck & Kitchen Member: Dawn Brooks-Rapp www.acaciacafe.com twitter.com/AcaciaFoodTruck Agraria Edibles Member: Barbara Link www.agrariafarm.com facebook.com/AgrariaFarm Allie’s Genuine Goodness Member: Elizabeth Alvarez www.alliesgenuinegoodness.com Anavila Bakehouse Member: Margie Aitkenhead The Backyard Food Company – CURRENTLY RUNNING A KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN Members: Matthew McClelland and Loubnen Sukkar www.thebackyardfoodcompany.com twitter.com/BackyardFoodCo Bella Piccolina Member: Daniela Mansella www.bellapiccolina.com twitter.com/dmansella facebook.com/daniela.mansella Biggest Little Popcorn Company Member: Roselette W. DeWitt www.
The Rhode Island Food Policy Council is seeking new Council Members for the 2015 term.
New members will be elected at the December 2014 Annual Meeting.
- Create new and innovative ideas and plans for the Rhode Island food system
- Monitor and promote the Rhode Island food system across multiple sectors
- Help to maintain direction, purposes & goals, functions and responsibilities of the RIFPC