Brooklyn’s Cooking as Coworking-Style Food Incubator Opens in Old Pfizer Plant


It’s no secret that Brooklyn’s artisanal food scene is booming. The borough’s emerging culinary talents test out their creations via food trucks, Smorgasburg stands and cafeteria-style halls. Now, they have another laboratory for edible experimentation — and it’s affordable.

Brooklyn FoodWorks — a culinary incubator and shared commercial kitchen space — had its official grand opening and ribbon cutting today in the old Pfizer plant at 630 Flushing Avenue in Bed Stuy.

The seven-building complex, once slated to be transformed into affordable housing, may still get some and is now home to a design incubator as well as food-oriented businesses, including Mixed Made (hot sauce), Sfoglini (offbeat pasta), Kelvin Natural Slush (slushies), Brooklyn Soda Works, and even FreshDirect.

One of the trickiest parts of starting a food business in New York City is that you are required to make your goods in a commercial kitchen. And like other kinds of manufacturing space in the city, a commercial kitchen ain’t cheap.

That’s where the food incubator comes in. Brooklyn FoodWorks is essentially a co-working space for culinary startups. Getting a membership (starting at $195 to 300 a month) gives chefs conference rooms and mentoring. But the big sell is 24/7 access to its commercial-grade kitchen space.

Food Incubator Brooklyn Foodworks

Photo via Brooklyn FoodWorks

When operating at full capacity, Brooklyn FoodWorks will accommodate about 100 food-related businesses. The City’s Economic Development Corporation Brooklyn Borough President’s office have provided support and funding.

Other food hubs include Industry City and the Navy Yard. Not a few offer kitchen space made affordable by sharing with another company — though you gotta find your own roomies. But with the insatiable appetites of Brooklynites, we’re sure there’s more than enough demand to meet the growing supply of borough-made food.

[Photo of Pfizer by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark]

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