Pilotworks, a startup that offered commercial kitchen space for food entrepreneurs, announced that it was abruptly shutting down as of October 13.

A message on the Pilotworks site reads:

It is with a heavy heart that after failing to raise the necessary capital to continue operations, Pilotworks will cease operations on October 13th, 2018. We realize the shock of this news and the disruption it causes for the independent food community we were so honored to serve.

This is a sad outcome for Pilotworks, the makers in our kitchens, and independent food in general. We wish there was another option to continue operating. Sadly, there was not. The work the independent food community is doing is amazing and inspiring. We know it will live on and we are deeply sorry it will not be with Pilotworks.

Questions can directed to questions@pilotworks.com and we will make every attempt to answer them the best we can.


Pilotworks had billed itself as the AWS for food, offering budding food businesses kitchen space and equipment on an as-needed basis. It had raised more than $15 million in total, including a $13 million round last December.

There had been signs of trouble for Pilotworks this year, however. In June Nick Devane left his CEO role and was replaced by former COO Zach Ware. Then in August the company shut down locations in Providence, Rhode Island and Portland, Maine.

A tip submitted to The Spoon indicates that the company closing down came as a surprise to the tenant, some of whom had already paid for a full month. This tipster said that they still have ingredients still on-site at a Pilotworks and will need to find a new home for their food before it spoils.

This story is developing and we will update as we learn more.

Update: if you are a food entrepreneur stranded by Pilotworks, we are updating a list of potential alternatives.  

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  1. We had a 5-hour shift yesterday at Pilotworks Brooklyn. They entire place was being deep cleaned and there were very few makers on site. They may have let us keep our shift because we’ve been on such good standing with the staff, but that said, no one revealed the true state of affairs and we left at 4pm feeling good.

    It’s unconscionable to end things so abruptly. For us, this is a week-night / weekend endeavor (for now) so we have regular jobs to rely on. But for so many, this is their lively hood. To not provide at least a week’s notice, to drop people like this with no easy recourse for other resources, it’s like Pilotworks just “ghosted” us all with nothing more than an “info@” email to follow up.

  2. Brooklyn Quality Eats is deeply saddened to see so many Brooklyn makers sidelined by this abrupt and discourteous action.

    Fortunately, our company invested in a small sandwich shop at the historic Moore Street Market not far from the Pfizer Building and had begun plans to relocate our operations out of Pilotworks. We’d like to invite you all to swing by the Moore Street Market (110 Moore Street) Monday, 10.15.18, from 5 to 6:30 to coalition, information share and explore possible storefront opportunities with NYC Public Markets.

    If the independent food community can come together in this challenging time, we’ll recognize Pilotworks was just the venue, the good stuff came from us makers.


    Chef Barb Pangilinan

  3. Reality of debt fueled business….. Raising interest rates will make harder to get another funding round. All businesses that forgot about fundamentals – to make money – will get harsh reality check.

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