Participants are recruited from the local community and invited to attend an orientation session to learn about the incubation model and the commitment involved in running a food business. Participants begin with a formal application process and an interview to assess if they have an entrepreneurial spirit, can provide a viable product and are community oriented.
During this six month phase, participants receive technical assistance to establish the foundations of their business plan including product development, marketing, finances, and operations.
Once the pre-incubation phase is complete, participants whose pre-incubation phase was successful will move on to the incubation phase and continue to receive technical assistance while accessing affordable, commercial kitchen space to launch their businesses. They also will have access to capital and resources to grow sales and build their business. Spice Kitchen Incubator will leverage its own brand to help incubated businesses grow through special events, tastings, workshops and merchandise sales. Participants will also receive assistance in obtaining capital via micro and small business loans.
The last phase is graduation, in which members reach all established incubation benchmarks and move their business out of Spice Kitchen Incubator while still remaining part of the alumni community. Some participants may continue to utilize the cooperative renting commercial kitchen space and other resources.
*This model is adapted from La Cocina in San Francisco, a nationally recognized model for kitchen incubator programs.