Earlier this week business, civic and education leaders celebrated the reopening of the Revolving Test Kitchen on Northern Essex Community College’s (NECC) Lawrence Campus.
In existence since 2016, the Revolving Test Kitchen is transitioning from an incubator and pop-up restaurant serving one entrepreneur at a time to a shared commercial kitchen and food business incubator that will accommodate a wide range of food businesses, including food trucks, catering companies, small batch manufacturers and food delivery companies. The space also offers members access to culinary and business experts in the food industry. Food entrepreneurs are now being recruited to join as members.
The leaders enjoyed a buffet prepared by two RTK member entrepreneurs, Danny Torres of El Encanto, who runs a food truck featuring Puerto Rican foods, and Jessy Melo, owner of Jessy’s Clean Meals, a weekly meal prep service (read our story on Jessy here) . There was also a short program emceed by Wendy Estrella, Lawrence Partnership board chair and featuring remarks by Lane Glenn, president of NECC, Mike Kennealy, secretary, executive office of housing and economic development, Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez, and George Ramirez, executive director of the Lawrence Partnership.
“Lawrence is emerging as a growth area for food-based businesses…” said Ramirez. “This new approach to the RTK offers serious entrepreneurs an important hand up through experts and facilities that make it possible to bring their idea to life and sustain it for the long term.”
RTK members pay a $350 refundable deposit and a monthly base rent of $350 that includes 10 hours of kitchen time as well as well as facility costs, food safety auditing, member meetings and roundtable discussions, and promotion. The facility will be open for food production from 4 a.m. to midnight with 24-hour access for its members.
To learn more, more or access the application, visit here.
RTK Ribbon Cutting photo at top of page: (Left to right) Jessy Melo, Jessy’s Clean Meals; George Ramirez, Lawrence Partnership; Theresa Parks, MassDevelopment; Lane Glenn, NECC; Wendy Estrella, Lawrence Partnership; Mike Kennealy, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development; Mayor Kendrys Vasquez, Lawrence; Senator Barry Finegold; Representative Marcos Devers; Danny Torres, El Encanto; Hilton Torres, El Encanto.