Foodworks Looks to Help Food Entrepreneurs

NEW YORKFoodworks has created a new platform in Brooklyn bundling physical cooking space and digital infrastructure to help up-and-coming food entrepreneurs. The young company is hoping to change how the food industry connects not just businesses, but wholesale buyers, production facilities, and potential investors as well. Foodworks is a platform looking to aid nascent food entrepreneurs to succeed from concept to scale.

The company currently operates its first kitchen ‘Brooklyn Foodworks,’ a 10,000-sq. ft. incubator kitchen and commissary space in Bedstuy with 100+ businesses in it of all types: caterers, bakers, stall vendors, CPG brands, meal preppers, ‘delivery only’ concepts, ice cream makers, and ideators.

Founders Nick Devane and Mike Dee pivoted away from Homemade after acquiring the cooking facility and bringing the existing Brooklyn Foodworks team on-board, including discovering a new principal in Drew Barrett (formerly co-founder and COO of Dinnerlab). The company rebranded as ‘The Foodworks’ and is now filling a distinct gap in the market with full-stack physical and digital infrastructure, alongside ‘value-add’ services and resources. Foodworks provides a platform to prototype, start, and grow innovative food businesses:

  • Digital Network (business directory, wholesale purchasing, & storytelling)
  • Community (mentors, experts & events)
  • Commissary (beautiful kitchens, specialty equipment, & co-working)
  • Distribution

The group can help take nearly any idea and legally place it in market for very little money. Foodworks has all the ingredients needed to build an independent food business.

(On acquiring Brooklyn Foodworks while working on Homemade) “We saw an unparalleled opportunity to further our mission of empowering people to start food businesses and create ‘community through food,’ both in providing amazing facilities and learning about how we can create value with the right software solutions. More important than the facilities though were the amazing team, community, and mentors surrounding Brooklyn Foodworks,” said Nick Devane, Foodworks CEO and formerHomemade co-founder. “From cooking space to distribution to adding wholesale accounts to connecting with service providers and getting in front of the right people, we now want to be a one-stop shop for food entrepreneurs.”

Now is the perfect time for Foodworks as the food industry continues to unbundle, the maker movement explodes, and the costs of traditional restaurants soar. Foodworks’ network of 55+ food industry experts mentor new businesses through packaging design, web design, video, photography, co-packing, distribution, fundraising, permitting, and anything else needed. But mentorship is only the start to its network, Foodworks retains advisors such as Chris Stang of the Infatuation, Tobias Peggs of Square Roots, Brand Hargreaves of Common & General Assembly, and Camilla Marcus of Techtable.

With a skyrocketing demand for non-industrial food, the Foodworks infrastructure is a natural catalyst and common foundation for a heterogeneous network of food business. A 10,000-sq. ft. facility in Bedstuy, Brooklyn Foodworks is a high-fidelity commissary space for food businesses to operate with less friction, little upfront capital, and limited risks. The space includes co-working, cold storage, dishwashing service, a beautiful test kitchen, 12 separate cooking stalls, a temperature controlled room (ice cream and chocolate making), a baking center, and specialty equipment. The space is home to 100+ businesses that are 84% MWEB.

Envisioned to foster from the earliest stages of concept, it provides staffing, sourcing, storage, dishwashing, specialty equipment, 24/7 access, and so much more! Since its inception, the space has proven to foster job and business growth for food businesses. Some of the businesses cooking from the facility Keepers Coffee Soda, Ando (David Chang), Big Mozz, Ra Bliss,Dank , Stagg, Genuine, Festive (NY Times today), and The Awkward Scone. For bakers, caterers, and ‘delivery only’ businesses this is fundamentally a better way to operate without the need for leases, depreciating equipment, and other risky overhead.