When Fork opens in July, it seeks to follow in the impressive footsteps of Union Kitchen, a food incubator in D.C. Union Kitchen provides a space where entrepreneurs and foodies alike can merge their passions and ideas to see their dreams come to fruition. Take Allan Rivlan, who switched from a career as political opinion researcher to a vegan caterer with the help of Union Kitchen’s second incubator space. Union Kitchen provides the space and licensing that make achieving a career as a food entrepreneur viable. Within the walls of Union Kitchen, entrepreneurs are making everything from beef broth to dog biscuits and inspiring one another at the same time. The communal space allows for collaboration between varying businesses, as Ryan Ferguson notes in his article that “In August, for example, on National S’more Day, Undone Chocolate, Capital Candy Jar and Ruby Scoops teamed up to offer s’more kits delivered by UrbanStems, a local flower delivery startup, and sold at Glen’s Garden Market.”
Now imagine the same collaboration and success spreading from Fork’s West Bayside location throughout the greater Portland area. Union Kitchen has had several incubatees spread their wings and open their own brick-and-mortar locations. Between the two locations, Union Kitchen houses 75 member companies and has generated over 400 jobs in only four years. With Fork’s potential to house 50 members, Portland only stands to gain more jobs and great food through incubating a plethora of ideas.