Chicago’s Food Scene Grows As East Garfield Park Gets A New Food Business Incubator
A Collective Investment in East Garfield Park, The Hatchery Will Support Underserved Entrepreneurs and Strengthen Chicago’s Thriving Food and Beverage Sector
Chicago’s food and beverage scene has been on full display this month. Dubbed the ‘Oscar’s of Food’, the James Beard Awards will stay in Chicago through 2027. The Brewers Association announced Chicago is home to the most breweries in the U.S., beating famous beer cities like Denver, Seattle, and San Diego.
Most notably, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and WBC President and CEO Andrea Zopp joined East Garfield Park community leaders to open The Hatchery – a $34 million, 67,000 square-foot incubator that will help local food entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams with microlending and business coaching, while also helping food companies maintain cutting-edge talent and innovation.
Developed by Accion Chicago and the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC) with support from Conagra Brands and a long list of sponsors, this multi-year project is a testament to the power of public-private partnerships that invest in underserved neighborhoods and put community-impact first.
The Hatchery will create new jobs, support local entrepreneurs, and strengthen Chicago’s position at the forefront of the food industry. Even more importantly, this facility will extend the success of Chicago’s thriving food industry directly into our neighborhoods and drive future economic growth on the West Side.
– Mayor Emanuel
“The Hatchery will create new jobs, support local entrepreneurs, and strengthen Chicago’s position at the forefront of the food industry,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Even more importantly, this facility will extend the success of Chicago’s thriving food industry directly into our neighborhoods and drive future economic growth on the West Side.”
Located on the southeast corner of Lake Street and Kedzie Avenue, the facility provides a wealth of equipment and amenities for emerging food and beverage businesses, including 54 private food-grade kitchens, 5 shared kitchen bays, dry-cold storage, loading docks for distribution and transportation, and an open-office space.
In addition to kitchen space, The Hatchery will house the Garfield Park Garden Network Neighborhood Market, a program for neighborhood entrepreneurs to get capital and coaching from Accion. To drive workforce development within the neighborhood, prominent Chicago chef Rick Bayless is partnering with The Hatchery to launch the Culinary Core Institute, a chef-training program for young West Side residents who aspire to cook in Chicago’s top restaurants.
The goals of the Culinary Core Institute are to equip our city’s young people with a low-cost, solid culinary education and to provide Chicago’s world-class restaurants with job-ready cooks. We look forward to sending these graduates into the workforce and making our industry, and our city, stronger.
– Chef Rick Bayless
“The goals of the Culinary Core Institute are to equip our city’s young people with a low-cost, solid culinary education and to provide Chicago’s world-class restaurants with job-ready cooks,” said Chef Rick Bayless. “We look forward to sending these graduates into the workforce and making our industry, and our city, stronger.”
Altogether, The Hatchery will further strengthen Chicago’s food and beverage scene, which currently stands as the second largest in the nation with 4,500 companies, 130,000 employees and $32 billion in sales.
Since Mayor Emanuel took office, Chicago has seen significant investment from many leading companies in the food and beverage industry; with Conagra Brands, ADM, Mead Johnson, Beam Suntory Kraft Heinz, McDonalds, and Ferrara Candy all opening corporate headquarters in Chicago.
Getting to Know DCASE Commissioner Erin Harkey
Tell us about where you grew up and tell a special high school memory/story. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and went to Santa Monica High School; high…
Black History Spotlight - Blake Anthony-Johnson
A Conversation with Blake-Anthony Johnson, CEO and President of Chicago Sinfonietta Blake-Anthony Johnson’s multifaceted career has included work as a performer, collaborator, recording artist, and
Black History Spotlight - Leon Walker
Meet Leon Walker Over the past 20 years, Leon I. Walker, Esq., has spearheaded cutting-edge community development projects that have generated thousands of new jobs and brought grocery stores and&hell
INVEST South/West breaks ground on its first project of the year in South Shore and brings a $100 million media campus to the area
By: Markayle Tolliver South Shore, Chicago, IL | This afternoon, Regal Mile Studios along with Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Alderwoman Michelle Harris (8th ward), Jim Reynolds, LOOP Capital CEO, and the&he