Lt. Governor Visits Queens Entrepreneur Space

Demetrious O'Neill and Ashleigh Crowther are perfecting their handmade chocolate and chai syrups. 

The duo launched Ash Apothecary, an organic simple-syrup company in November.

They say as a small startup, the Entrepreneur Space in Long Island City is the perfect spot for them to craft unique flavors.

"As our production increases we can increase our time here, and you know, grow our business without having the huge financial obligation of our own dedicated space," said Crowther.

Instead, the roughly 5,000-square-foot city-sponsored professional kitchen incubator, allows budding small business owners to rent work space and bring their ideas to life.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and State Senator Michael Gianaris toured the site Tuesday, in hopes of spreading the word about the facility so more people use it.

"We need to nurture the entrepreneur class, particularly here in New York City and create the new jobs, and it all starts with one or two people and a great idea," said Hochul.

Staff here say they have more than 300 clients, but that's only about 50% capacity.

"This is 24/7 facility, we can have four businesses working each shift and we do three shifts a day," said Katherine Gregory, who is a Managing Consultant at the Entrepreneur Space.

While many small businesses start here, not all of them stay forever.   

Catering company Creative Concepts NYC says they expanded so much, they had to open up their own commercial kitchen.

"So it was really important for us to have the flexibility to come in here and have the work space to grow our business," said Julie Sommers, who is the Director of Catering at Creative Concepts NYC.

The space is gaining recognition.  The facility is also the recipient of a $125,000 state grant.

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