Non-profit organization Hot Bread Kitchen will provide kitchen training and job placement; La Marqueta’s Shared Commercial Kitchen One Step Closer to Completion

New York, June 02, 2010 – City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Seth W. Pinsky today announced the selection of Hot Bread Kitchen as the anchor tenant and operator of the new kitchen incubator at La Marqueta on 115th Street and Park Avenue in East Harlem. The food manufacturing sector is a $5 billion a year industry supporting more than 30,000 jobs in New York City, most in small, locally owned businesses. The incubator is a groundbreaking initiative to help entrepreneurs get a jump-start on expanding their businesses in the ever-growing food manufacturing industry. The new kitchen incubator is expected to be completed this fall and will provide shared workspace and technical assistance for small, artisanal and ethnic food businesses making the transition from working in home kitchens to using fully-equipped, professional and licensed facilities.

Hot Bread Kitchen is a non-profit 501c3 social enterprise that enhances the future of immigrant women and preserves baking traditions. Its mission at La Marqueta will be twofold: 1) to train low income, foreign-born women in commercial and artisanal baking, and 2) to provide affordable space and business assistance to help launch a variety of food enterprises. For the first goal, Hot Bread Kitchen provides kitchen training, English-language classes, and job placement assistance. For the second goal, there will be space available on a sliding scale to food entrepreneurs.

Additionally, staff at the kitchen will help entrepreneurs with:
• Learning kitchen-use rules and regulations;
• Product development;
• Becoming certified Food Handlers;
• Marketing products;
• Completing a business plan; and
• Accessing capital.

“In what bakery can you find Moroccan Msmen bread, Bangladeshi chapatis, and stone-ground Mexican tortillas mixed together with a strong sense of community and entrepreneurship? Probably nowhere else but Hot Bread Kitchen,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “We are proud to announce that Hot Bread Kitchen will be operating the incubator kitchen in La Marqueta in East Harlem. I want to thank EDC President Seth Pinsky and Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito for their work on moving this project forward. We can’t think of a better organization than Hot Bread Kitchen to run this endeavor. The non-profit’s goal of providing financial opportunities to foreign-born women through the preservation of their culinary cultures fuses well with the La Marqueta project. With Hot Bread Kitchen’s guidance, we anticipate the creation of new jobs here in Harlem, giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to make their dreams a reality. So let’s get cooking!”

“With New York City’s culinary diversity – fine dining, ethnic cuisines, culinary educational facilities, food manufacturers and distributors, and greenmarkets – the food industry has excellent growth potential,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “Small businesses are the backbone of the City’s economy and the Kitchen Incubator will help these budding entrepreneurs prepare for the next step: a full-time business of their own in which to acquire the skills necessary to achieve success, expand to new markets, and add employees. I am pleased that NYCEDC is partnering with Speaker Quinn and Council Member Mark-Viverito in this important endeavor.”

Clients for the incubator will be recruited from the Hot Bread Kitchen workforce training program, East Harlem community groups, and other non-profits. However, all who are interested are encouraged to inquire about the space. By the end of its first year, Hot Bread Kitchen estimates 19 businesses will be working out of the incubator and 37 jobs created. In five years. It plans to have 29 businesses in operation and to have 19 graduating on an annual basis. Additionally, by the end of the fifth year, it plans to have 116 jobs created. The average wage for people employed in food manufacturing in NYC is $32,153.

“The selection of Hot Bread Kitchen to operate El Barrio/East Harlem’s new kitchen incubator at the historic La Marqueta site is an exciting development for my district,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Last year Hot Bread Kitchen was recognized by the Mayor’s Office as the ‘Queens Small Business of the Year.’ I am thrilled to be able to bring this successful model to El Barrio/East Harlem, to provide opportunities to local entrepreneurs as well as critical workforce development services, for not only residents of my district, but all New Yorkers. I look forward to a collaborative relationship with Hot Bread Kitchen to make the organization a true partner with the community as we launch this important project at La Marqueta.”

“Our move to La Marqueta is enormously significant for Hot Bread Kitchen,” said Jessamyn Waldman, executive director of Hot Bread Kitchen. “Not only will it allow us to scale our workforce development program, it will enable us to help launch and support new food businesses each year. We are excited about serving East Harlem and continuing the legacy of entrepreneurship and food business that has defined La Marqueta for decades.”

About La Marqueta
La Marqueta is a historic community marketplace in East Harlem owned by the city. The property is located underneath the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Metro North rail line on Park Avenue from East 111th Street to East 119th Street. The approximately 80,000 square foot site is made up of six parcels divided by intersecting streets and includes vacant land, a market building, a warehouse building and an open plaza.

The Kitchen will be one of several uses within the market building – a first step in reactivating La Marqueta. The incubator will be approximately 3,000 square feet and will be comprised of two production kitchens, two prep kitchens, a chocolate kitchen, a specialty production space and dough room, as well as dry and cold storage facilities. The demonstration kitchen will be available for classes and other events. The kitchens will be fully-equipped for multiple uses and made available on a part-time or full-time rental basis. The anchor space for Hot Bread Kitchen will be approximately 1,600 square feet.