Kitchen incubator launching in the Metropolitan building downtown

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - A new kitchen incubator in the Metropolitan building hopes to give chefs a jump start at entrepreneurship.

"This fits our mission in a lot of ways of increasing street vitality,” said Laura Fox O’Sullivan, VP of the Rochester Development Corporation. “And it’s in many ways that are very important right now, which is creating more opportunities for urban entrepreneurs."

Fox O'Sullivan and Heidi Zimmer Meyer hope to transform a former gift shop into a new modern industrial kitchen, which they plan on calling The Commissary.

"We will have up to 8 kitchen stations that you can rent out for as little as a few hours” Fox O’Sullivan said. “Let's say you were making a packaged good for the Public Market. You come in on Saturdays before the market to up your inventory."

There are over 200 similar concepts throughout the U.S.

Zimmer Meyer says this project will cost up to $1 million when it’s all finished. They received $230,000 from the state, and the Rochester City School District will give them used kitchen equipment. The rest they will fundraise.

Zimmer Meyer says every dollar spent will be well worth it.

"It's one that will benefit a wide variety of players, from the woman baking muffins in Pittsford to a guy whose got a great meat sauce that's been in his family for years and he wants to see if it works in the market," she said.

Many of the businesses downtown have been here for many years, and they are hoping that this new business model will bring people downtown.

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