QUEENS — The Queens Library will soon launch a culinary incubator in hopes of developing the borough's next generation of food-based small businesses.
The Jamaica FEASTS (Food Entrepreneurship and Services Training Space) incubator, at the Central Branch, will assist those who want to open a food business by helping them develop their ideas and provide them with classes, resources and workspace, the library said.
Participants who complete the training will have access to a kitchen facility where they will be able to try out and prepare their food.
They will also have a chance to build their brand by selling goods at the library's cafeteria.
The Queens Library was selected to launch the initiative by the New York City Economic Development Corporation after it responded to a Request for Proposal (RFP) for incubator space to help entrepreneurs in the area.
It was “a natural fit" for the library, which has for years run its Job & Business Academy, providing job seekers with training and learning opportunities, according to Queens Library spokeswoman Elisabeth de Bourbon.
“As a major employer and critical resource in Jamaica ... Queens Library is committed to supporting the revitalization of the community,” said Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott in a statement.
Jamaica FEASTS is part of the Jamaica NOW plan, a $153 million initiative, seeking to bring more retail and job training opportunities to the neighborhood.
“Pre-accelerator programs like Jamaica FEASTS will not only jumpstart the next generation of culinary entrepreneurs, but it will also help unlock Jamaica’s economic potential and spur the creation of quality, good-paying jobs for residents of all ages,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer.
The Queens Library is currently holding promotional workshops for food business entrepreneurs.
In early January, it will start accepting applications for the full program.
To learn more about the Jamaica FEASTS program, call the Queens Library at 718-990-0895.