Monday, October 20, 2014

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Brooklyn Incubator the Right Mix for Culinary Startups

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A culinary incubator in Brooklyn is offering professional-grade kitchen equipment to cooks with big dreams. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.

With the slicing of an apple, Yukimi Momose started the process of making the Japanese Salad Dressings she created along with husband Masaki, called Momo Dressing. They say it wouldn't have been possible if they didn't find Hana Kitchens in Sunset Park's Industry City complex.

"Having your own kitchen costs a lot of money, so being here we can save money and we can start with less money," said Yukimi Momose.

Hana Kitchens is culinary incubator where food producers get the space and equipment to cook and bake without having to rent their own place or in some cases work from home.

There are 10 kitchens with food preparation going on around the clock in eight hour shifts costing anywhere from $120 to $180 depending on the time.

"It's a really cost effective easy way to start a food business, and not only start but to grow a food business as well," said Hana Kitchens Co-Owner Nicole Bermensolo.

Bermensolo became partners with pastry chef Michael Hu a few years ago after first being a tenant with her Kyotofu Gluten-Free dessert line. Hu says they both can provide producers assistance with things like licensing, marketing, packaging and recipe development.

"Usually people have an idea about how to start their business. They start making samples in their home. They go out and get a few customers or get a few customers that are interested in their products, and then they usually come to us," Hu said.

If you are going to have around two dozen companies making food 24 hours a day seven days a week, you're going to need a pretty big oven, which the incubator has.

"The equipment they have here is perfect for what I need. It has the big mixers the really great ovens, the dough rollers. I don't have to use a rolling pin anymore," said Mark Sopchak of Whimsy and Spice.

And the environment is a creative one.

"I think the benefit of working at Hana Kitchens is we can share great information with other tenants," said Masaki Momose.

For more information, visit hanakitchens.com.

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