Salt Lake City is pleased to announce that Square Kitchen has been awarded a competitive $350,000 grant to develop a culinary incubator kitchen in the Poplar Grove neighborhood. The new Square Kitchen will provide accessible and affordable commercial kitchen space to budding food entrepreneurs, in addition to regulatory, marketing and business resources.
“There is high demand for local and organic food options in Salt Lake City,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “Square Kitchen will help to build and diversify our local food economy by removing the barriers that are preventing new companies from starting in the food sector – specifically the lack of commercial kitchen space and accessible business resources.”
Earlier this year, Mayor Becker and the Salt Lake City Council approved $600,000 to support the development of a Culinary Incubator Kitchen in Salt Lake City. $350,000 was available through a competitive grant process, while the additional $250,000 was made available through a loan. Proposals were submitted last summer to create and operate a culinary incubator kitchen.
The selection of Square Kitchen is another important step forward for a project that began over two years ago. In 2013, Salt Lake City’s Food Policy Task Force, in partnership with the Sustainability Division, worked with Carbaugh & Associates to conduct the Culinary Incubator Kitchen Feasibility Study (PDF). This study identified a strong demand for an incubator kitchen, while outlining the key components needed to create a successful project for the Salt Lake City community.
Square Kitchen, LLC was established in March 2015 by Analia Valdemoros, MCMP and Tham Soekotjo with the mission of building a culinary kitchen incubator facility accessible to all community members. Together, Valdemoros and Soekotjo have over 16 years of diverse experience as urban planners, entrepreneurs and local food business owners.
“Square Kitchen is thrilled to work with Salt Lake City in providing new and experienced food entrepreneurs with an affordable state-of-the art kitchen facility, sizable storage space, training opportunities to grow their food business, and most importantly, a gathering place to cultivate and increase food diversity in our city,” said Valdemoros and Soekotjo.
Square Kitchen is finalizing site plans and will break ground on the new facility in early spring 2016. The new kitchen plans to open its doors for business in July 2016.
For more information and to follow the progress of the Culinary Incubator Project, please visit www.SLCgreen.com.