Member Experience

Eat, Live, Cowork (Food Coworking Spaces)

Helga Moreno

Coworking industry has entered the stage of high-speed development. New spaces pop up here and there like mushrooms after the rain. The demand for coworking space services is growing stronger each day, so the tendency will continue to gain momentum. The competition in the market is going to get even more fierce than before and you should be ready to keep your business afloat.

A lot of smart entrepreneurs choose to specialize their coworking spaces to succeed. You can see it on the local map:

In this article, I would like to talk about cooking coworking spaces. Everybody likes tasty food but some people feel a special passion for it. They are cooks, chefs, restaurant and café owners, in a word, entrepreneurs connected to food, cooking, and catering industry.

Food-related business niche is broad, so you are not likely to watch the empty desks in your coworking place for food startups. However, before announcing your space a culinary one, you need to know how to meet the professional requirements of your prospective members. I hope this article will sort the things out.

What is a Kitchen Coworking

A food-focused coworking is a place gathering caterers, ice cream makers, chocolate makers, pastry chefs, packaged food products sellers, apricot jam, banana bread manufacturers, and other businessmen working in the industry.

Most often, those people are determined to introduce new, unique foods to the mainstream market.

For instance, an ice cream maker may be experimenting with new exotic flavors. A coffee company may be trying to mix coffee, soda, and natural juice in a bubbly composition.

What do those innovative cooks come to the best food coworking for?

They pay for more than just access to a kitchen. They come for valuable guidance, advice, and mentorship.

The problem of food startups and minor brands is that it's extremely difficult to get off the ground, a really bank-breaking experience.

However, good food coworking gives them easy access to professionals who steer them in the direction of lawyers, fundraisers, social media strategists, nutrition specialists, food photographers, and more. These mentors are invited to community events and happy hours.

Besides, chefs can swap recipes and try them out immediately at the kitchen stations, which transforms food coworking into an incubator, test kitchen, and commissary for emerging food and beverage brands.

The takeaway is that a coworking space for food startups is more than just a number of amenities. It should offer an array of value-added services, including mentorship opportunities, strategic resources, partnership, early-stage investment, month-to-month office rentals and access to a supportive community to facilitate businesses launch, grow and thrive.

Special Amenities of a Coworking Space for Food Startups

Cooking coworkings are very special, not to say sacred places for their members. Think about it like this. Where is the warmest, the coziest, the best-smelling place at home? It's a kitchen. All heart-to-heart talks take place there. The family gathers in the kitchen at least once a day to eat tasty food, drink tea, and discuss the events of the day.

We invite our closest friends to the kitchen, share secrets, news, gossips, woes, whatever. A kitchen is the heart of any home.

The same is true for the coworking kitchen. It has a special atmosphere that encourages and initiates the most sincere communication. You need to take care of that at your space with a café-style design and additional facilities (apart from high-speed internet, ergonomic furniture, and office utensils).

Your guests will be happy with the following amenities:

  • Hot desks
  • Dedicated desks
  • Private offices
  • Conference rooms for R&D and merchandising
  • Complimentary fresh fruit water
  • Coffee
  • Ping-pong or some other sport areas
  • Food pantry
  • Large event space
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Kitchen space fitted out with essential commercial kitchen equipment
  • Fit-outs and storage space
  • Cooking community

Special Events at a Cooking Coworking Space

I have already mentioned above that active community and membership benefits are extremely important for a food-focused coworking space. That means you should arrange events on a regular basis and invite famous chefs and industry influencers to speak there.

Types of events you can host at your cooking class coworking:

  • Member demo days
  • Culinary workshops
  • Classes
  • Training
  • Talks
  • Tastings
  • Food cultures celebrations, and other events that allow a member to have fun whilst learning a new skill.

Pro tip: It will be much easier for you to manage your space, events, and membership benefits using coworking software. This way you can be sure that all loyal members are rewarded with benefits and properly notified about upcoming events, that the processes of new members registration, meeting room booking, payment, and access are optimized.

Food-focused Сoworkings from all Over the World

There is no better way to learn and get inspired than viewing real-life examples of best food coworkings from different countries. Please find out more in the showcase below.

The Food Loft

The Food Loft is a first-of-its-kind co-working space dedicated to the success of food and foodtech startups. They have a vibrant community that includes passionate entrepreneurs and teams looking to improve the food ecosystem in Boston and beyond.

The Food Loft is a place to learn, network, get mentorship and grow your business.

Food Central Biz

Food Central Cowork is the only value-added agriculture and food-focused coworking hub in Western Canada. Access their shared co-working space, meeting rooms, kitchen, and lounge area, or participate in programs to help you grow your business, get invites to industry events, and discounted panels and workshops. Food Central brings entrepreneurs, service providers, academic institutions and enthusiasts together to pursue their goals, collaborate and scale businesses.

Cook Beyond

With the vast movement of collaborative spaces working very well in other industries, sharing spaces and resources seems to be the trend of the future. And seeing all this movement happen with results, Cook Beyond (Hong Kong) decided to put these elements into their space – hence they deem themselves as “co-working inspired kitchen”. A kitchen community dedicated to SHARE . CONNECT . BUILD food businesses with a tiny bit more recipe for success.

Butter & Bake

Founded in 2014, Butter & Bake started with the aim of sharing the passion of baking with everyone else. They are proud to be a home-grown brand that is born and bred in Singapore.

Butter & Bake believes in creating memorable experiences through baking. Their dream is to make Butter & bake the go-to-choice for baking activities, events, gatherings, and parties. Organizing a party, event or get-togethers is hard work, so they take the hard work out of baking so you get to have the fun.

Amped Kitchens

This coworking kitchen has three locations — L.A. North, L.A. South, and Chicago. They built Amped Kitchens to provide a better alternative for growing food companies. Each of their exclusive spaces is adaptable to evolving product lines and expanding operations.

They deal with the complexity of running a wholesale production facility, so you don’t have to.

Each kitchen is rented exclusively to one tenant — yours is the only company to occupy your space. Choose the right kitchen size for your business, from 150 square feet to 2,000 square feet. Bring in the specialized equipment you need — but they’ve taken care of virtually everything else.

Food Tech Campus

Food Tech Campus team loves food but their hearts also beat for innovation. Behind Food Tech Campus (Berlin) lies Food Tech Collective, which aims to revolutionize the shopping experience of tomorrow. That's why they want to unify foodies, start-ups, merchants and multipliers on Food Tech Campus to shape the food retail industry with passion, drive and business know-how.

HERD

HERD is a 700 m² fully equipped and approved commercial coworking kitchen in Vienna. However, it offers not only professional cooking facilities but shared know-how, joy, and suffering that lead to sustained growth.

Joining the HERD, food entrepreneurs avoid big risk and commitment of building their own kitchen as well as limited options of conventional rental kitchens and get multiple possibilities such as their own warehouse, efficient production, organic boxes, and exchanging ideas with colleagues.

Mission Kitchen

Mission Kitchen has opened its doors to members two years ago in London. The founders of the cooking coworking space have experienced all obstacles of starting a food business themselves — space rent, buying professional equipment, certifications, etc. So, they offer shared cooking resources to London’s food makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs as a simple solution to all food startup problems.

Capital Kitchens

Capital Kitchens is Austin's largest shared-use commercial kitchen, culinary incubator, chef center, and mobile food commissary. This food coworking space was incepted in 2012. It allows to build your business on an as-needed basis with lowered risk and minimized start-up costs.

Capital Kitchens can be considered a launchpad for a food or beverage concept. Apart from professional equipment, they provide a nurturing atmosphere for startups mixed with experienced food vendors. This erases the barrier to starting a food business in Austin as you are not burdened by the expense of building out or leasing a commercial kitchen.

Kitchen Republic

The Kitchen Republic combines kitchens, office space, and event space in Amsterdam. This coworking for chefs gives you access to fully equipped startup commercial kitchens, plug and play scale-up units, top of the line day kitchen rental and coworking office space.

Kitchen Republic community includes members form a unique group of entrepreneurs with a wide diversity of food products and concepts. The food coworking welcomes any new food initiative with premium taste, an impactful business plan and a drive for success.

The Hatchery

The Hatchery provides kitchen, coworking & storage solutions in Chicago. This food & beverage business incubator is located in a new 67,000 square foot production facility which includes shared and private kitchen spaces, cold/dry/freezer storage, loading/receiving docks, food truck servicing, coworking space, meeting rooms, event space, on-site support from industry experts, and a vibrant community of food entrepreneurs.

The Hatchery coworking kitchen is aimed to support a variety of food & beverage production needs, from catering, baking, CPG products, and meal kits to a food truck business.

Conclusion

As you see, the coworking industry is evolving. The hubs unite young, energetic entrepreneurs striving to bring their creative ideas to life.

The sense of launching business niche-oriented spaces like food-focused coworkings is in creating a favorable atmosphere for new-generation entrepreneurs.

You give them physical resources, educational basis, and a supportive community of like-minded people, which lets them focus on innovation.

Do you agree that the role of coworking spaces changes today and now some of them are more like talent incubators? Do you have any essential tips on running a food coworking space? Questions are also welcome.

Thanks for every yummy share :-)

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