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

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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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