Who We Are

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Our Mission

Shared Commercial Kitchen Space at The Hatchery Chicago

Our Facility


Our Team



Our Mission

Growing Food Startups. Growing Community.

Food businesses create good jobs with relatively low corresponding educational requirements. A lack of affordable food grade spaces available for rent and the high upfront cost to build out a food grade space creates a significant barrier to growth for food entrepreneurs. The Hatchery removes these barriers to growth and creates good jobs in the City of Chicago.

The Hatchery Chicago enables local entrepreneurs to build and grow successful food and beverage businesses and provides job training and placement programs, which in turn create sustainable economic growth and new job opportunities.

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 commercial 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.

Awards & Recognition

MacArthur Foundation Featured Grantee

The MacArthur Foundation, who donated to The Hatchery in 2017, featured our work in this grantee spotlight.

Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards 2020

The Hatchery's founding partners, ICNC and Allies for Community Business (formerly Accion Chicago), were awarded The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project in 2020 by the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards.

Specialty Food Association Leadership Awards 2020

Natalie Shmulik, CEO of The Hatchery Chicago, was awarded the Specialty Food Association's 2020 Leadership Award for Vision.

2020 Special Achievement of the Year at the Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards

The Hatchery was awarded the 2020 Special Achievement of the Year by The Greater Chicago Food Depository at the 32nd Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards.

Our Facility

The new Hatchery facility includes a broad range of kitchen spaces and services to meet the needs of growing food and beverage businesses.  

The 67,000 square foot facility is one of the largest food incubation spaces in the U.S. with:  

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    Large Shared Kitchen

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    54 Private Commercial Kitchen Spaces

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    Co-Working & Meeting Space

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    Walk-in Dry, Cold, and Freezer Storage

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    On-Site Business Planning & Support

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    Incubation Services including Classes & Events

Features of our facility Include:

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    Space for 75-100 food industry entrepreneurs in a 67,000 sq. ft. facility

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    54 private food-grade production spaces

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    Cold, dry, and freezer storage, loading docks, and food truck allocation

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    Shared kitchen

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    Event space

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    Co-working space and meeting rooms

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    On-site training, coaching, and industry-specific support for entrepreneurs

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    On-site parking

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    24/7 access, security on-site

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    Event space that can be rented out capacity of 100-200 people. A/V equipment

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    Headquarters for Allies for Community Business, who is a joint venture partner of The Hatchery and non-profit that provides capital, coaching and connections to entrepreneurs

Our Team

Nicole Shepherd

Naihal Wajid

Monique Kilgore

Erika Boyd

Dani Zuchovicki

Carlos Rivera

Alex Horton

We should talk.

Enough about us. Learn more about those we serve.

Merabites team

Food Entrepreneurs

The Hatchery Advisory Council

Our Community

seminar photo for website 1

Our Partners

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