Early-Stage Food Incubator

The Early-Stage Food Business Incubator Program provides funding to various innovative food business incubators. This program focuses on incubators serving emerging food businesses in communities with the greatest food insecurity and those with emerging food corridors. The Early-Stage Food Business Incubator Program was designed after intensive community engagement with the Food Equity Council and seeks to help expand, enhance, and restore the food industry using an equity and community-based approach. 

The City has awarded 7 community-based organizations funds for innovative food incubator programs. These organizations will design custom programs that offer a range of technical assistance and capacity building support, such as: mentorship/apprenticeship programs, food stall rentals, kitchen and commercial space, retail pop-ups, co-working or office space and more.

Early-Stage Food Incubator Program Grantees: 

  • BUILD, Incorporated
  • Chicago’s Sunshine Enterprises
  • DishRoulette Kitchen
  • E.G. Woode
  • Food He.Ro
  • Good Food Catalyst (formally Family Farmed)
  • Greater Chatham Initiative

How to Participate: Interested food entrepreneurs can reach out directly to the program grantees.

Questions may be emailed to:BACPEconomicRecovery@cityofchicago.org

BUILD Chicago

BUILD Chicago 

The Momentum Coffee-BUILD Early-Stage Food Business Incubator Program collaboration takes a multi-faceted approach to empowering new entrepreneurs and early-stage start-ups while addressing food insecurity in the Austin neighborhood. By supporting local entrepreneurs, the program seeks to nurture and promote small business startups that focus on affordable, nutritious, and culturally relevant food options. In doing so, its goal is to simultaneously create job opportunities, empower entrepreneurs to be license ready, teach the necessary skills to launch a product or storefront, and enhance access to healthy meals within the community.  

Website: Home - BUILD, Inc. (buildchicago.org) 

Contact Info: Nikki Bravo at nikki@ignitetechnology.org 

Neighborhood: Westside 

Chicago’s Sunshine Enterprise

Chicago’s Sunshine Enterprise 

Chicago’s Sunshine Enterprise is introducing a specialized food-focused cohort in our Community Business Academy, conducting targeted workshops for food-based businesses as part of our Business Acceleration Services, and will provide Credit to Capital training specifically designed for food entrepreneurs. Furthermore, we are excited to orchestrate a food vendor event that will bring together entrepreneurs from the entire Chicago community. Sunshine Enterprise's mission has been to serve and uplift underserved communities, particularly those on the South and West sides, which already contend with numerous challenges, including food insecurity.
 

Website: Sunshine Enterprises 

Contact Info: (312) 868-0040 

Neighborhood: Southside and Westside 

DishRoulette Kitchen NFP

DishRoulette Kitchen NFP 

DishRoulette Kitchen aims to address the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in historically marginalized and low-income communities, especially those on the South and West sides of the city. DishRoulette Kitchen offers tailored support to food entrepreneurs equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary for building successful and sustainable food businesses. 

Website: https://www.dishroulettekitchen.com 

Contact Info: contact@dishroulettekitchen.com   

 Neighborhood: Southside and Westside 

E.G. Woode

E.G. Woode 

E.G. Woode was formed to help remove barriers to business ownership for entrepreneurs from Englewood and similar communities. We provide turn-key ready spaces for entrepreneurs for no upfront cost - removing the costliest part of starting a business. Through the partnership with Englewood Kitchen, we are offering food entrepreneurs a training kitchen space, certificate training, business plan workshops, menu development, and marketing/branding guidance. 

Website: E.G. Woode – Entrepreneurs Live Here (egwoode.com) 

Contact Info: Jessica Holmes at jessica.holmes610@gmail.com 

Neighborhood: Southside 

Food He.Ro

Food He.Ro 

Food He.ro offers a bilingual food incubator and shared kitchen to foster economic growth, access to quality food, and pride in the cultural traditions of Little Village and surrounding communities. 

Through the Food Business Incubator Program award, Food He.ro will provide industry specific business courses, coaching and assistance to entrepreneurs who are interested in participating in the food industry. 

Website: FoodHe.ro 

Contact Info: 773.888.1310 

Neighborhood: Little Village and surrounding communities 

Good Food Catalyst (formally FamilyFarmed)

Good Food Catalyst (formally FamilyFarmed) 

At the cornerstone of our work is a dedication to Chicago-based small businesses who work hard every day to keep our city’s local economy equitable and the local food scene alive! The Good Food Accelerator runs business education programming for entry and mid-level founders. Our programming covers finance and capital, sales, and retail readiness topics to create a strong base for businesses ready to grow. We connect our participants with top food industry leaders who teach our weekly classes and make space for networking and new connections. Every founder deserves a seat at the table. 

Website: Home | Good Food Catalyst 

Contact Info: Carly Herron at: Carly.Herron@GoodFoodCatalyst.org 

Neighborhood: Citywide 

Greater Chatham Initiative

Greater Chatham Initiative 

The Innovation FoodLab is a much-needed public facing commercial kitchen and learning lab on Chicago’s south side. The FoodLab Chicago Innovation lab provides one-on-one coaching and commercial kitchen access for 40 participants. The Greater Chatham Initiative will be using two locations for our Food Incubator program.  We are partnering with Chef Darryl Furey, owner of Haute Brats Restaurant, located at 6239 S. Ashland Avenue and are partnering with Greater Auburn Gresham Development, (GAGDC) and using their Demonstration Kitchen and presentation area in the new Health Hub at 839 W. 79th Street. 

Website: Home - The Greater Chatham Initiative  

Contact Info 

Tony Patterson, tonya@greaterchathaminiative.org 
Enrique Torres, enrique@greaterchathaminitiative.org 

John Handler, jhandler@greaterchathaminitiative.org 

Neighborhood: Southside