New $30M Food Incubator Headed To Chicago’s West Side

CHICAGO (CBS) — A major investment for the West Side is on the horizon — a $30 million public-private partnership will bring a food incubation center to East Garfield Park.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports how the center will give a step-up to local residents with dreams of building their own business.

For two years, Trinsia Williams has run a bakery business in her West Side home out of her cramped kitchen. Trini’s Tasty Pasteries features original treats such as cinnamon roll scones.

However, once the food incubator opens, those days will be over. And Williams is looking forward to the commercial kitchen space the center will offer.

“That’s one of the hardest parts about starting my business and keeping it going — not having the funding for the commercial space because it is every expensive.”

The Hatchery will be built near the Kedzie Green Line station. It will not only feature 56 commercial kitchens for budding chefs, but it will also have demonstration kitchens to provide expert training, as well as a food court for marketing their creations to the public.

“It creates an economic opportunity and an economic engine in the West Side of the city of Chicago, linking folks in the West Side up to one of the most dynamic parts of our economy,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

Angela Taylor coordinates a network of 32 Garfield Park community gardens. “I’ve been here 12 years. I think they kind of consider me the mother of the gardens.”

She also volunteers to produce locally-grown kale, collards, fennel and other produce, all of which will be sold to food preparers and to the public at the incubator.

“This is probably what our real mission is — to develop a food hub here on the West Side of Chicago, particularly here in Garfield,” Taylor said.

The city will contribute $8 million to the project, with the remaining $22 million coming from private and corporate donors.

The city predicts 150 jobs in the first year, and up to 900 jobs over five years.

Watch & Listen LIVE