WARREN – Local food nonprofit Hope & Main broke ground Friday on the state’s first food business incubator in Warren.
The organization plans to transform the former Main Street School building into a 17,500-square foot workspace for food businesses including commercial kitchens, cold and dry storage, and equipment for baking, food processing and catering. The new facility will also include a demonstration kitchen and classroom for education on cooking and nutrition.
Hope & Main plans to offer services key to launching new food businesses, such as labeling and shipping facilities, distribution assistance, and a business center for e-commerce and marketing.
“This facility will help local entrepreneurs grow their operations and get technical assistance to turn their ideas and recipes into commercial success,” Sen. Jack Reed, who helped secure federal funding for the project, said in a statement.
Hope & Main is largely funded by a $3 million U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development community facilities loan.
The group will begin accepting membership applications for the incubator in September.