Louisville’s New Kitchen Incubator Chef Space Opens

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WLKY.COM) — New entrepreneurs looking to grow the food and beverage industry in Louisville now have a place to call home.Chef Space provides the opportunity for new entrepreneurs to have their kitchen dreams born.

“It’s cool to see this place, which was a cornerstone of the community, that’s transformed to a place to create 1,000 Frank O’s,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.

In 1975 Frank Foster started what was Jay’s Restaurant.

“I was a master caterer and served up to 3,000 people at once at the state fair,” Foster said.

Now entrepreneurs can gather to share goals and dreams in the Russell neighborhood as they once did at Jay’s.

Chef Space is the first kitchen incubator, providing commercial kitchen space and business support services for up to 50 food-related business, including caterers and food truck operators.

“Every dollar invested here will pay back to this community many times over. New businesses will be launched, new jobs will be created and entrepreneurs will build future families,” U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said.

Monday was an open house for the food startups to show off their tastes.

“All superstars in their own right, learn about their food, learn about their journeys, and about where they want to go,” president Chris Lavenson.

Eric Graeser connects meat lovers to fresh local meats, offering a niche that he believes no one else has.

“The whole goal was to start a company here because I know Louisville was a food town and people here would love my product,” Graeser said.

Foster said it’s a challenging industry, but Chef Space levels the playing field.

“You’ve got to be on it, and it’s hard for independents to start off. There are franchises everywhere, and you can do that, but independent businesses are hard,” Foster said.

Two businesses, Lucretia’s Kitchen and Jay’s 120, have used Chef Space to evolve their businesses.

Both are looking for space to open their restaurants.

This article was first published in wlky.org by Colin Mayfield. You can read the original article here.