The funding will primarily be used to support the Entrée-preneurship class series, a signature program of Chef Space that helps aspiring food entrepreneurs—many from the underserved population in Louisville’s west end—to conceive and successfully launch their culinary concepts.
“While this money is unrestricted, it will primarily go to support our ‘Entrée-preneurship’ class series that we host twice each year,” explained Tom Murro, President of Chef Space. “On average, we have 50 persons per year complete this course. The attendees also get access to free technical assistance which helps them with necessary details like licensing and registering their business, designing menus, and food costing. We typically do over 300 hours of technical assistance on just these clients and their businesses.”
The series is designed as an entry to small business food ventures and focuses on a host of subjects such as business development and management, staffing, food safety and marketing and branding to help prepare food entrepreneurs for their small business journey. Each class is taught by top industry professionals. Top local restauranteurs and executive chefs share their knowledge, as does Food Network Star, author, and co-owner of Bluegrass Supper Club Damaris Phillips. All class attendees who graduate from the program are given free kitchen time to begin their business.
Through the pandemic, which saw large numbers of businesses in general and restaurants, in particular, closing their doors, Chef Space educated approximately 60 entrepreneurs while helping 31 of those to open or grow their businesses. Louisville Jefferson County Metro Government funding will ensure that at least 100 current and prospective Chef Space members receive the one-on-one support, training, and kitchen space that they need to succeed in a notoriously challenging industry.
“We are grateful for the continued support of the Louisville Jefferson County Metro Government,” continued Murro. “Funding such as this bolsters our support of an under-funded segment of the population that needs it most.”