SUCCESS STORY FOR
Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga
The Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga (KIC) was founded in 2020 by Launch Chattanooga, a non-profit organization that offers business training, support, and affordable resources to underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Urban Story Ventures (USV), a commercial real estate group, contacted the TSBDC in December 2019 to discuss business ideas for a vacant space formerly occupied by the Culinary Institute at Virginia College. The vacant space was fully equipped and ready to be used for culinary business. With the help of the TSBDC, USV, and Launch Chattanooga were able to establish a relationship that enabled the food and beverage incubator to begin leasing space in early 2020. KIC began leasing commissary kitchen space to food truck owners, caterers, and CPG manufacturers within a few weeks of launching the incubator program.
Business flourished until the pandemic halted operations at the end of March 2020. In order to remain afloat, KIC partnered with a local foundation to provide thousands of meals each week to seniors. Because of this opportunity, KIC and its tenants could stay afloat until food sales picked up again.
Since its inception, KIC has helped 43 businesses start and grow. Those 43 businesses have employed over 100 employees and made over $1 million in sales. Launch received over $400k in grants and loans, allowing them to renovate the space, now KIC can serve up to 40 food and beverage businesses simultaneously.
Since 2020, TSBDC has assisted KIC by making the initial connections for the kitchen space, using LivePlan to help develop a budget and business plan, and providing ongoing consulting to the clients of the KIC program.
“The Chattanooga TSBDC was an invaluable partner as we opened the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga. My team and I are incredibly grateful for the support of the Chattanooga TSBDC and recognize that we couldn’t have done this without them!” – Hal Bowling, Executive Director of Launch Chattanooga
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