Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the doors of Stony Brook’s Calverton Food Business Incubator? Have you ever thought of starting a cooking business? Ever wanted to see what foodies really like to do? All this was on display on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 1 when the incubator opened its doors to community members, investors, representatives and market buyers.
Thirty-six food start-ups showcased their workspace and provided amazing samples of their products to over 80 attendees. Many community members who came to the two-hour open house admitted to driving past the facility hundreds of times, but never knowing what was brewing inside. One participant said she thought it was a Stony Brook University animal research facility, much like Plum Island was. The woman was thrilled to see that this was a food business incubator and excited to share this information with friends who had never known such a facility existed.
The open house was the brainchild of Brookhaven City Council member Jonathan Kornreich, who had visited the incubator and recognized the potential of these young start-ups in hopes of eventually getting them to establish their businesses and create jobs. in the town of Brookhaven.
“The Calverton Food Business Incubator provides a supported environment for food entrepreneurs to launch and grow their business. I visited several months ago and was so inspired by the hard work and passion of entrepreneurs that I wanted to find a way to help them pursue their dreams,” Kornreich said. “We hosted a matchmaking event and invited business leaders and citizens from across Suffolk County; investors; restaurateurs and others to come and meet the entrepreneurs, taste their products, give them advice and perhaps close deals.
While tasting the company’s delicious products, the attendees also made valuable contributions and support to the companies. “We hope to do it again next year, so watch for the announcement in the future!” added Kornreich.
Companies in attendance reheated bite-sized quiches, reheated cheese puffs, created samples of homemade potato salad, rice pudding, biscotti, cookies, donuts and candies. There were pickled sauces to taste, coffee, tea, crumb cake, granola, jams, breads, keto muffins and fresh juices to try. There were even gluten free fries. The food incubator has private cooking rooms, a large shared-use commercial kitchen, and one of only two completely gluten-free commercial kitchens on Long Island.
“We are delighted with the success of the open day and we are excited to participate in more events like this. Our mission is to help our businesses succeed and grow, not just in the East End, but across Long Island and beyond,” said David Hamilton, program manager for Calverton. “We have a lot of companies and special products made here, and it’s our responsibility to put them in front of as many customers as possible.”
“I am continually amazed by the excellent food or beverage creations produced in this building. Calverton is a place where we support businesses by helping them grow,” said Yvonne Schultz, Calverton Building Manager and former entrepreneur. Along with Kornreich, Schultz organized the event, doing everything from arranging table space to communicating with participating companies to welcoming attendees at the front door.
And at the end of the day, everyone came away with a good understanding of food incubation, seeing the love and care that goes into every product – and a full belly.
“Calverton is where people have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and passions in the food and beverage industry,” Schultz concluded.
To learn more about the Calverton Food Business Incubator, please visit their website.