For Immediate Release
Organizations Boost Culinary Economy By Launching an Emerging Restaurantuer
StartUp Kitchen applicants must apply by June 20
When Kera Carpenter opened DOMKU, a Petworth neighborhood game-changer, she could have benefited from a mentor, a space to test her concept, an opportunity to “play kitchen”. Seven years later it is in her own restaurant’s kitchen that she will provide these opportunities to one emerging culinary entrepreneur through StartUp Kitchen.
StartUp Kitchen, set to launch late July during Eat Local Week is an initiative of CARPENTER and her new organization, NURISH: The Center for a Creative Culinary Economy. Through a competitive process loosely modeled on the Kauffman Foundation’s StartUp Weekend, food entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to present their concepts before a panel of food industry veterans who will critique their business plans, offer constructive advice, ask probing questions, and review the general soundness of the concepts. The selected winner of the competition will be given access to an existing restaurant during its off hours and afforded all the marketing support of Think Local First DC.
“The local independent culinary class in DC has the largest projected independent business growth over the next two years, explains Stacey Price, Executive Director of Think Local First DC. “Projects like StartUp Kitchen allow us to make an impact and mentor our emerging restaurant industry.”
Applicants must be DC resident, have a basic business license, and present a concept that works in the space along with a viable business plan. Interested entrepreneurs must apply by June 20 to be eligible. Select applications will be reviewed by a committee of food industry judges and finalists will be announced July 3. On July 17, finalists will present formal plans to the committee. The winner will be announced on July 20th at the StartUp Kitchen Launch Party.
NURISH: Center for Creative Culinary Economies is currently searching for funding and infrastructure. The concept includes a commercial kitchen, education and restaurant space for pop-ups and events.
“StartUpKitchen is a way to live out the mission of NURISH on a grassroots level while we secure what is needed for the entire concept,” explains Carpenter. “DC is full of industry leaders hungry to share their expertise. Our hope is to incubate emerging culinary entrepreneurs at a variety of StartUp Kitchens around DC.”
The StartUp Kitchen incubation lasts six weeks starting September 3rd. Each Monday night starting September 17th consumers can buy tickets, test the food, and give feedback on the winning concept. Applicants must apply online at http://startupkitchen2012.tumblr.com/ or www.eatlocalfirstdc.com. For more information please contact Kera CARPENTER at firstname.lastname@example.org.