By Cameron Gould-Saltman, Class of 2019
The Hatchery Chicago, a non-profit food business incubator, opened doors in the first week of December in Chicago’s East Garfield Park. Our own Cameron Gould-Saltman interned at The Hatchery two quarters last year and currently works there part-time as a project manager and coach to some of the entrepreneur members.
The Hatchery is the brain child of the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago, a small business incubator, and Accion, a microlender. The Hatchery’s members include Tovala, Farmer’s Fridge, and many other food-focused businesses based in the Chicagoland area.
The new 67,000 square foot facility will house 56 commercial kitchens for lease, a shared kitchen for newer businesses, an open area for events, a coworking space, conference rooms, and the new headquarters for Accion, and Rick Bayless’s culinary training program for members of the community. Rahm Emanuel cut the ribbon signifying Chicago’s renewed interest in fostering entrepreneurship in underserved communities. “When we each walk through a door of opportunity, it is our responsibility not to reach back for a door handle, but to grab a hand and pull others through with us.”