WARREN – Hope & Main LLC, Rhode Island’s first culinary business incubator, has brought on food industry veteran Julie Nahas to serve as executive director of operations as the organization steams toward its official launch in August.
In her new role, Nahas will lead day-to-day operation of the newly renovated Hope & Main facility in Warren as well as oversee recruitment, coaching and mentoring for the incubator program, which will host some 30 businesses at launch.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the Hope & Main project and to work with so many inspiring entrepreneurs in the culinary industry,” Nahas says. “I’m looking forward to helping to make this a place where food startups can grow and thrive.”
Hope & Main aims to give food entrepreneurs and early-stage culinary businesses the chance to grow without the cost of equipping their own commercial facilities. Members accepted into the program will receive access to affordable culinary work space and immersion in an entrepreneurial environment with peers and industry experts.
Nahas herself comes to Hope & Main from an established career in the Rhode Island food scene, as owner and operator of 3 Steeple Street Restaurant in Providence from 2002 to 2009. Previously, she also managed Pot Au Feu and the former Federal Reserve restaurant, since replaced by The Dorrance.
“Julie has experience in food business management and production, and she’s passionately devoted to local, sustainable food and production practices,” said Lisa Raiola, founder of Hope & Main. “We are incredibly impressed with her vision for Hope & Main and her enthusiasm for mentoring our members. I am thrilled that she is taking the helm as we move toward our August opening.”