Food Innovation Center

The purpose of the Madison Food Innovation Center is to support small business growth by offering shared affordable access to a commercial food production business incubator. Food Innovation Center users will have access to services and infrastructure that are significantly beyond the reach of a typical low-capital start-up.

Providing a fully licensed shared-use commercial kitchen and food processing facility will help lower costs and allow for a faster ramp up for growth. Many of small businesses and start-ups are involved in small or medium scale food manufacturing and consumer packaged goods. The Food Innovation Center will allow these companies to expand their production and augment distribution to grocers, restaurants, food service providers, and institutions – taking their business to the next level of growth.

The Food Innovation Center will support minority-owned and other small businesses by cultivating a stronger food workforce, creating job opportunities, connecting farmers to buyers, enhancing food and beverage processing capacity, helping startups grow, encouraging new product development, and connecting those products to larger markets in the Midwest. Building wealth through entrepreneurship in minority communities is one important step in creating a more equitable south central region.

The program will be enhanced through partnerships with local organizations. Supporters include FEED Kitchens, MadRep, Wisconsin Small Business Development Center – SBDC, Starting Block, Madison College, REAP Food Group, Wisconsin Women’s Business Corp, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers.

“We’re excited for our businesses to increase their manufacturing capacity at the Center. The Public Market is an opportunity to make our food system more robust and equitable.”– FEED Kitchens

The Food innovation Center is expected to create 150 jobs and spur an estimated $8.29 million in private investment in its first 10 years.

Approximately 17,000 square feet of the Public Market will be dedicated to the Food Innovation Center.

The specific programs and services at the Food Innovation Center will include:

  • The Market Commercial Kitchen
  • Food product development and testing
  • Collaboration and Office Space
  • MarketReady programming
  • Cold/Dry food storage and prep space
  • Flex space in the South Hall for affordable, short-term food manufacturing space
  • Food classes and demonstrations
  • Food accessibility opportunities and programming

“I’m excited to be a part of the Madison Public Market, a place where all of our residents and visitors can come together to celebrate great food, our amazing entrepreneurial scene and our community’s diverse strengths and talents.” - Melinda Heinritz, Foundation for Madison Public Schools

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