Vancouver has thrown its support behind the Vancouver Incubator Kitchen, a partnership between Vancouver Community College, Mark Brand Inc., Vancity Credit Union, and the City of Vancouver.
This week, the first group of Vancouver Community College (VCC) students will start working in an innovative kitchen space located in the Save-On Meats building at 43 West Hastings Street as part of VCC culinary education to better prepare today’s chefs for the evolving labour market.
The Vancouver Incubator Kitchen has three complementary goals:
1. Support culinary education
2. Support food business development
3. Provide free or low-cost access to commercial kitchen space for community organizations
With the installation of state-of-the-art kitchen equipment in a renovated space on the ground floor of Save On Meats, this dedicated kitchen facility will meet a wide range of community needs.
In the next phase, Save-On Meats will be seeking tenants for the business incubation component of project. In addition, community organizations will soon be accessing the kitchen for non-profit, community-based activities such as healthy cooking workshops, and training in canning and preserving fresh food.
“By pursuing shared goals, project partners are making food preparation space available to emerging food enterprises on a flexible and affordable basis,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We are proud to support the advancement of a vital community food hub in the Downtown Eastside.”
“This innovative incubator kitchen will serve as an experiential learning environment where students can interact with industry professionals, community members, and non-profit organizations,” said Irene Young, VCC Interim President. “This partnership provides an incredible opportunity for us to expand our culinary programming and promote job growth while supporting community groups and emerging entrepreneurs.”
“This project is a culmination of three years of partnerships and countless trials. I’m extremely proud of its impact to date and with the formalized incubator we’re stacked with community applications. The future is bright,” said Mark Brand.
The City of Vancouver is committed to supporting innovative community partnerships that help achieve the goals of the Vancouver Food Strategy, and the related Greenest City Strategy and Healthy City Strategy.