REVOLVING TEST KITCHEN IN LAWRENCE GETS COMPLETE MAKEOVER TO HELP LOCAL FOOD ENTREPRENEURS
Shared commercial kitchen and food business incubator set up to welcome more Lawrence area startups
LAWRENCE (August 26, 2021) – Building on its novel pilot program that helped launch a number of local food service businesses, The Lawrence Partnership has announced a bold new approach to the Revolving Test Kitchen (RTK) that will expand the number of businesses that can take advantage of its shared commercial kitchen and support services.
The newly renovated space, which opened this month, is located at the street-level entrance at Northern Essex Community College’s (NECC) Lawrence campus on Common Street. Featuring shared culinary workspaces with multiple prep and cook spaces with dry and cold storage, RTK will accommodate a range of food businesses, including food trucks, catering companies, small batch manufacturers and food delivery companies, while offering its members access to culinary and business experts in the food industry.
RTK is a collaboration among the Lawrence Partnership, Lupoli Companies, Northern Essex Community College, the City of Lawrence and EforAll/EparaTodos, and will be operated by Foundation Kitchen. Funding was made possible through Mass Development and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).
“Our mission is to provide programming and strategies that create an inclusive, equitable approach to economic development that serves the entire community in Lawrence,” said George Ramirez, executive director of The Lawrence Partnership. “Lawrence is emerging as a growth area for food-based businesses. But with challenges new food service businesses face around capital and start-up costs, many great ideas never got off the ground. 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.”
“As a social impact entrepreneur and restaurateur, focused on creating opportunities in gateway cities, supporting the Revolving Test Kitchen through the Lupoli Foundation is something I’m extremely passionate about,” said Sal Lupoli, CEO of Lupoli Companies and Sal’s Pizza. “It has been truly inspiring to watch this project come together, despite the challenges we faced during the pandemic. There is a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial spirit in the Merrimack Valley, and RTK will provide a springboard for these aspiring business owners to actualize their dreams and add to the economic growth of the region.”
RTK will be open for food production from 4am to midnight, with 24- hour access for its members. Space is booked on a first-come, first-served policy. Members reserve times through an online platform.
“We’ve seen some outstanding businesses come through the Revolving Test Kitchen initiative since its inception,” said Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex Community College President “This new, shared kitchen format will increase access to the support and services available at RTK, and help even more local food entrepreneurs thrive. Northern Essex is proud of this collaboration, and we look forward to seeing the results of the reimagined program.”
“The Revolving Test Kitchen is a prime example of what we can achieve as a community when we come together to empower our residents, artists, and business owners. I am excited that our partnership will increase access to innovative spaces for all Lawrencians and look forward to seeing the work of our partnership pay off” said Mayor Kendrys Vasquez.
About The Lawrence Partnership
The Lawrence Partnership was launched in 2014 by leaders from local businesses, area banks, nonprofits, educational and healthcare institutions, and government, all committed to building a resilient, inclusive and equitable local economy. Always guided by a people-first strategy, the Partnership develops and implements initiatives that support small businesses, foster leadership and grow the workforce in Lawrence.