It sucks when any startup abruptly shuts down, but when a company like Pilotworks closes its doors, there’s a huge ripple effect that impacts more than just its own employees. Food entrepreneurs who were tenants at Pilotworks locations now must scramble for kitchen space to keep their own businesses alive.
From what commenters on our original story and people on our Slack channel are telling us, Pilotworks’s abrupt closure came as a surprise to those food entrepreneurs working at the Brooklyn location.
If you were impacted by Pilotworks’ closure, here are some things you can do (if are local to these areas and have more/better tips, please leave a comment to help others out):
A good first step is to visit The Kitchen Door from The Food Corridor, an online platform that connects food businesses and commercial production spaces. I did a quick search on its site and found results in the following Pilotworks locations (click each link for the full list):
Brooklyn – City Saucery, Hot Bread Kitchen
Chicago – River Forest Kitchen, Fig and Olive
Dallas – Perfect Temper, The Craft Kitchen
Newark, NJ – BAO Food and Drink Incubator, Academy of Elizabethtown Kitchen
Despite Pilotworks crashing, there is still a lot of activity and investment in the shared commercial kitchen space around the country. Kitchen United, which works with both established restaurants and food entrepreneurs, just raised $10 million to boost its expansion into twelve new markets beyond Pasadena, CA. Elsewhere in LA, Fulton Kitchens is looking for mid-level food entrepreneurs. Up in San Francisco, Tinker Kitchen is less about business, but still offers its members a place to experiment with food.
Based in Boston, Commonwealth Kitchen is a non-profit that provides kitchen space as well as help with licensing and permitting.
Union Kitchen in D.C. has a food accelerator and membership-based communal kitchen.
While this will be a tough time for those impacted by Pilotworks, it’s also an opportunity for the community to come together. If you have other suggestions for people, leave a comment or send us a tip to include in this story.
UPDATE: We received the following this morning (Keep sending them to us!)
We are a large shared kitchen in north Dallas and have plenty of room for new clients. 469 209 4919
2011 west spring creek pkwy, suite 2000
plano, tx 75023
Hot Bread Kitchen in NYC sent us the following:
Wanted to share a bit more information. Hot Bread Kitchen, in partnership with organizations around the city, has stepped in to be a one-stop-shop to provide matching services to displaced businesses. Hot Bread will connect businesses to available kitchens, including our Incubator in East Harlem, as well as our partner kitchens throughout NYC (such as Bronx Cookspace, Entrepreneur Space in Queens, Organic Food Incubator, The Hudson Kitchen, and Evergreen Exchange.) We also encourage organizations with available kitchen space to reach out.
Matching form for businesses: hotbreadkitchen.org/incubateshotline
Phone hotline: (774) 364-8532 (open 8am–9pm this week)
Hope & Main in Warren Rhode Island told us “We are standing by to assist anyone in the food entrepreneurship community that may need resources, advice or kitchens.”
Also a Slack Channel has been set up to connect people impacted with those who might be able to help.
There is Hall Street Storage, a cold storage facility located in Downtown Brooklyn outside the Navy Yard. We do not have shared kitchen space, but we can accommodate needs for cold and dry storage, as well as fulfillment.
In Dallas The Mix Kitchen can help those that are scrambling to find a kitchen to use.
I am the new kitchen manager at the Neighborworks Millrace Kitchen in Woonsocket, RI. We are an incubator kitchen and still have space available for new members. Feel free to share my contact information for anyone interested. Tracey Belliveau, tbelliveau [at] neighborworksbrv [dot] org, (401)257-6152.
We would like to offer Cherry Street Kitchen as another option for people who can no longer produce at Pilotworks, especially the Newark location. We are in Trenton, easy loading and in/out to Route 1 or Route 95. We have storage space as well. Temporary use while getting something more permanent is fine. http://www.cherrystreetkitchen.com. Thank you.
CLiCK Willimantic is a commercially licensed kitchen run on cooperative values in Windham, CT, and is open to new members. Here is our website: https://clickwillimantic.com/