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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.