Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Hatchery Chicago?

The Hatchery Chicago is a non-profit food and beverage business incubator that enables local entrepreneurs to build and grow successful businesses. Those successful businesses, in turn, create economic growth and new job opportunities in their communities.

Our 67,000 square foot facility is at the corner of Lake and Kedzie in Chicago’s Garfield Park neighborhood. Accion, the area’s largest microlender, and ICNC, which runs one of the largest business incubators in the country, are the joint venture partners and building owners.

Who benefits from The Hatchery Chicago?

The Hatchery Chicago serves entrepreneurs, workers, and neighborhood market members.

  • For food and beverage entrepreneurs ready to grow their businesses, The Hatchery Chicago provides:
    • 56 private kitchens leasable by month
    • 5 shared kitchen spaces rentable by the hour
    • dry/cold storage, loading docks, and meeting spaces
    • workshops and educational seminars specific to food and beverage businesses
  • For entrepreneurs in any industry, Accion provides:
    • capital, in the form of loans between $500 and $100,000
    • coaching, provided for free by business coaches on site
    • connections, through events and online services
  • For workers in the community, ICNC and Chef Rick Bayles provide:
    • job training and placement for the positions created by the small businesses renting kitchen space
    • job training and placement for open positions in the best kitchens in Chicago
  • For neighborhood market members from the community, The Hatchery Chicago provides:
    • space and power on the front plaza to sell local produce and products at their seasonal market
    • prep space and storage inside the building

How does The Hatchery Chicago benefit residents of the West Side?

West Side residents receive priority access to the all of the offerings at The Hatchery, and the development team works even more closely with residents of Garfield Park and the 27th Ward.

  • West Side food and beverage entrepreneurs who are ready to grow their businesses are placed at the top of the list for selecting a private kitchen to rent and accessing a shared kitchen space. They also receive discounted Hatchery memberships and training opportunities. West Side entrepreneurs in other industries are served by Accion through capital, coaching, and connections. Accion operates out of The Hatchery building and seeks to double the number of West Side entrepreneurs it serves by the end of 2020.
  • West Side workers who want jobs with either the small businesses who are renting space at the facility or in the best kitchens in Chicago are given priority access to the two job training programs run by ICNC.
  • West Side food entrepreneurs are able to sell their products on The Hatchery plaza through The Garfield Park Neighborhood Market’s seasonal program.

Who developed The Hatchery?

The Hatchery is a joint venture between two Chicago non-profits: Accion and the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC).

The City of Chicago and its affiliates provided a portion of the land, grants, tax increment financing, and new markets tax credits to help reduce the debt the project must carry, and a lengthy list of donors, investors, and sponsors provided crucial support to the project.

IFF provided financing and construction support, while Wight & Company and their numerous minority- and women-owned partners designed and constructed the building.

Who is Accion?

Accion helps neighborhood entrepreneurs grow. Accion provides the capital, coaching, and connections small business owners need to create wealth and jobs throughout Illinois and Indiana.

Accion funded loans for more than 100 West Side businesses over the last ten years, providing $750,000+ and helping entrepreneurs create or retain 300 jobs.

Visit accion.org/chicago for more details.

Who is ICNC?

Since 1967, the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC) has been driving business growth on Chicago’s vibrant Nearwest side. ICNC works with start-ups and established businesses in industries such as manufacturing, food processing, and technology.

ICNC provides a full range of services tailored to meet individual business needs, at no cost, and serves more than 110 tenants in its 416,000 square foot incubator facility.

Visit www.industrialcouncil.com for more details.

Why is The Hatchery Chicago needed?

Aspiring food and beverage entrepreneurs who have outgrown their own kitchen often lack the capital to pay for a full buildout of a storefront or warehousing space. The Hatchery helps those small business owners by providing affordable space in which they can further incubate their ideas. 

What is the projected impact of The Hatchery Chicago?

Based on ICNC’s experience at their incubator over the last 30 years, the team projects that the small business owners who will rent the 54 private kitchens will create or maintain 900 jobs during the first five years. Those jobs will generate $25 million in pre-tax wages in its first five years of operation.

Who decides who receives the jobs created at The Hatchery Chicago?

Small business owners who are growing a business at The Hatchery Chicago hire the right worker for each open position they create, just like in any other business. The training programs actively recruit from West Side neighborhoods, and graduates of those programs then receive job placement assistance.

How can West Side residents provide input to The Hatchery Chicago team over time?

The Hatchery Community Advisory Council, which includes leaders from groups that represent all of the involved West Side neighborhoods, meets quarterly with The Hatchery team to share ideas and progress. In addition, all are welcome to attend events at The Hatchery to learn more about what is happening to benefit the community.

How can West Side residents participate in The Hatchery Chicago right now?

If you are interested in growing a food and beverage business by leasing space from The Hatchery Chicago, contact Monique Rush at space@thehatcherychicago.org or 312-283-5735.

If you are interested in growing a business in a different industry, contact Kyle Johnson from Accion at kjohnson@accionchicago.org or 312-275-3000.

If you are interested in building your workforce skills and working for either a food and beverage entrepreneur in The Hatchery or an accomplished chef in Chicago, contact Nancy Kramer at nancy@industrialcouncil.com or 312-421-3941.

If you are interested in selling your produce through The Garfield Park Neighborhood Market, contact Angela Taylor at angela@gpcommunitycouncil.org or 773-948--8989 x110.

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