Will accommodate 50 businesses
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) — Community Ventures has been awarded a $250,000 capital grant from the James Graham Brown Foundation to support the construction and renovation of Chef Space, the city’s first kitchen incubator, located in the Russell neighborhood of west Louisville.
Chef Space will occupy the former Jay’s Cafeteria, a landmark property in the area, and will accommodate up to 50 food entrepreneurs from around the city, including caterers, food truck chefs, value add product producers, and bakers. It will provide a vibrant space for chefs to learn and grow their businesses while helping to revitalize the neighborhood.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the space in June, with a formal opening expected to occur in late October. Chef Space is modeled after a successful kitchen incubation project in Washington, D.C., known as Union Kitchen D.C.
Community Ventures provides early-stage food entrepreneurs access to commercial kitchen space and equipment, as well as access to capital. The project also assists participants with business planning and feasibility assistance, financing support, and access to local foods and other valuable resources, to ensure the growth and vitality of the businesses in the space. Through the project, the organization aims to create jobs, increase access to healthy food, and revitalize the neighborhood community.
“We are so thankful for the generosity of the James Graham Brown Foundation,” said Kevin Smith, president and CEO of Community Ventures. “This gift helps Chef Space launch with most of its parts in place, giving this neighborhood another centering business to help with the revitalization of Russell.”
The James Graham Brown Foundation has granted over $11 million in funding to more than 30 organizations.
“The Brown Foundation is pleased to support Community Ventures in fostering the growth of Louisville’s food culture in the Russell neighborhood,” said Mason Rummel, president of the James Graham Brown Foundation. “Chef Space revives an iconic building that will again be- come a hub of activity in the community.”