HBK Incubates is a shared commercial kitchen space and business support program for high-growth food enterprises, run by award-winning food business Hot Bread Kitchen. In the capital-intensive culinary industry, our incubator allows entrepreneurs to mitigate start-up risk and grow their food ventures in a community of business owners.
"I started Hot Bread Kitchen from my home and turned it into a thriving commercial bakery. We learned so much along the way and were inspired to share our knowledge, access and resources with small food start-ups – just like ours once was – to help more food entrepreneurs become successful."
–Jessamyn Rodriguez, founder and CEO
Clinton Shabazz, better known as the Harlem Pie Man, has been selling his famous peach cobbler and pecan pies in local markets and on 125th Street for years with his wife Aliya. They joined HBK Incubates in 2014 with the goal of formalizing and growing their business. “The incubator helps with things like becoming incorporated, getting licenses and setting up liability insurance,” Clinton says. “They give you legitimacy.” The Harlem Pie Man was recently selected as a Whole Foods vendor.
Kerry Walden came to the incubator in April of 2014 with one wholesale client for her baked goods. A year and a half later, she had five major clients, a booth at the Hester Street Market, and was ready to launch her own retail space. “We couldn’t expand without the incubator,” Kerry says. “It helped us grow and be able to take on more clients. I went to pretty much every meeting that they had. It not only gave information but was also motivating for my business.”
Marker Coffee, the Crown Heights coffee shop and bakery she owns with her husband, opened in 2015. Her chocolate chip cookies and cheddar scallion scones are quickly becoming neighborhood staples.
Hiyaw Gebreyohannes, an immigrant from Djibouti, parlayed his mother’s Ethiopian recipes into a line of packaged vegetarian food. HBK Incubates helped him design professional packaging, get his product into Whole Foods Market and grow his business by 700%. “It made me official,” he says. “Customers would say, ‘Okay this person is legit. He is not cooking out of his home.’”
Within two years, Hiyaw graduated to his own space with a staff of nine. Taste of Ethiopia can now be found in over fifteen stores in New York City, including Dean and Deluca, Fairway Markets and online at Fresh Direct and Amazon Fresh.
Our kitchen is fully licensed by the NYC Department of Health and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for shared commercial food production.
We offer 24/7 access with a street level receiving bay and off-street delivery area. In addition to ten dedicated production stations in our open-floor kitchen space, we offer 6 walk-in cooling units totaling more than 800 square feet and over 300 square feet of dry storage. The kitchen space is equipped with a full suite of production equipment including but not limited to: gas and induction cooktops, multiple convection ovens, deep-fryer and large capacity tilt skillet, all maintained by a 24/ 7 porter staff.
Located in Manhattan, HBK Incubates has an optimal location for convenient distribution to the largest food market in the nation. HBK Incubates is in East Harlem, El Barrio, in the historic La Marqueta — a public market that boosts a rich tradition for immigrant food entrepreneurs. Our location offers access to many of the major transit hubs (the 2, 3 and 6 subway lines at 116th St., MTA Regional Bus service, as well as the Metro-North Harlem – 125th Street commuter rail station), and easy access outside of Manhattan via the RFK, George Washington and 59th Street Bridges.
HBK Incubates is open to all food entrepreneurs. We are well-suited to caterers, specialty food makers, recipe testers, restaurants doing training and menu development, meal delivery businesses and many other types of businesses.
We offer subsidized rates to make our program accessible to all. 30% of our members are low-income and receive subsidies on kitchen rental and storage. If you think you qualify, please inquire.
SHORT TERM RENTAL OPPORTUNITIES: If you need a short term space to prepare food for your next event, contact HBK Incubates about our commercial tenant and short term rates.
ENTREPRENEURIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP): If you aren’t quite ready to enter the incubator program, consider joining EAP – a theory based program to provide instruction, training, technical assistance and support services to individuals who have recently started their own food or non food-based business. To find out more, email email@example.com
To find out more about our program offerings and schedule a facility tour, please fill out the form below.