Jonathan D. Kemp, Jamaica Plain, MA
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During a time of chronic unemployment, the food sector—specialty catering, specialty food production, food trucks—is an area of the economy with the potential to provide a diverse range of entrepreneurs entry to market. As with any enterprise, however, start-up requires capital investment, the ability to navigate municipal and state permitting and licensing systems, and access to paying customers.
CropCircle Kitchen is a non-profit incubator of food sector businesses. With 3,000 square feet of cooking space, 300 square feet of cold and frozen storage space, and access to specialty equipment, including a pasta machine and a blast freezer, CropCircle Kitchen guides aspiring entrepreneurs from product concept to market by eliminating the need to fit out a commercial kitchen space and providing them with access to the broader marketplace through sourcing, warehousing, and distribution partnerships. Since 2009 CropCircle Kitchen has helped launch 120 new business, in the process creating 350 jobs. Currently, the Kitchen has 38 businesses operating out of its space. It is seeking to expand its footprint in order to serve even more entrepreneurs in the Boston area.