A lot of people dream of starting a business to make and sell food, but a barrier stands in their way: Commercial cooking equipment costs thousands of dollars.
But next year, entrepreneurial cooks in the York area can look forward to a business incubator just for them. YorKitchen
, which is being built in downtown York's Central Market
as part of a wider downtown revitalization effort, will be available for rent to aspiring business owners and companies that need the space to expand or test new products. The Entrepreneurial Support Alliance
, a group of business development experts from nearby colleges and business professionals, will help entrepreneurs build their businesses.
"This is a really easy way to take your grandmother's carrot cake recipe and make a living from it," says Aeman Bashir, coordinator of the York Keystone Innovation Zone
and a key organizer on the project. She expects YorKitchen to open in January.
Bashir says the incubator grew out of a desire to give the local agriculture sector a way to develop new products. And organizers have been reaching out to farmers, like apple growers next door in Adams County. But word has spread without much effort from those behind YorKitchen.
"We've had a huge response even before we've proactively marketed it," Bashir says.
Besides business-development services, plans call for the incubator to host classes on topics like nutrition, ethnic cooking and eating well on a tight budget.Source: Aeman Bashir, York Keystone Innovation ZoneWriter: Rebecca VanderMeulen