We're Buying Our Home!

This December we will be purchasing our building in Dorchester, our home since 2014. 

Join us as we embark on this exciting next chapter!

A New Chapter for CommonWealth Kitchen

Buying our building brings us one step closer to our original vision when we helped develop the former Pearl Meat Factory—create a hub for small diverse food companies to collaborate AND build an equitable food economy in Boston.

Owning our headquarters will have a dramatic long-term impact on CommonWealth Kitchen and the hundreds of businesses we support. It will:

  • improve the production space for our member businesses, increasing their output and lowering their costs
  • allow us to invest in energy improvements, building upgrades such as meeting space to accommodate our expanded business programming, and increase storage capacity for our food businesses
  • reduce our occupancy costs to stabilize operations and help us recover from the economic impact of COVID 
  • provide options for future expansion on-site to accommodate additional businesses, expand our small-batch food manufacturing operation which supports numerous product companies, restaurants, and farms, and create more local jobs with few barriers to entry
  • set us up for continued expansion of our business education and training programs
  • secure our long-term home in Dorchester, one of Boston’s most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods
The Pearl Meat Factory before redevlopment

History

2009

CommonWealth Kitchen Founded

CommonWealth Kitchen was created to provide affordable commercial kitchen space to low-and moderate-income women, immigrants, and people of color so they could launch and run their own businesses. We launched in a 4,000 square foot shared kitchen in Jamaica Plain but quickly outgrew the space.

2012

Developing the Pearl Meat Factory

In 2012 we entered into an agreement with Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation to help redevelop the vacant former Pearl Meat factory into a food production center, with CommonWealth Kitchen serving as the anchor tenant. 

The project was a signature piece of the Quincy Corridor redevelopment, which was funded in large part through HUD’s CHOICE Neighborhoods program. The $20M HUD grant brought in an additional $100M+ in resources for affordable housing, economic development, and community organizing in Dorchester’s Grove Hall neighborhood. The focus of the project was on small business development in the food industry as a means of asset building and wealth creation and sustainable jobs.

 

2014

CommonWealth Kitchen Moves In to 196 Quincy Street

With strong support from the City and federal government, the $15M project was completed in 2014. We moved from our facility in Jamaica Plain to the Pearl Building, tripling our footprint and increasing our average membership from 15 businesses a year to nearly 50.

Since moving into the building in 2014, CommonWealth Kitchen has grown from a modest shared-use kitchen, providing affordable rental for start-ups into an established and increasingly recognized leader in equitable food business development. We’ve grown from a team of 4 to 20+, with our budget increasing from $300k to over $3.5M/year.

December 2021

CommonWealth Kitchen Purchases the Building!

With strong support from private philanthropy, individual donors, and city and state government, CommonWealth Kitchen is set to purchase the Bornstein and Pearl Food Production Center and maintain it as home for diverse food businesses in the City of Boston!

After searching for a new home, CommonWealth Kitchen works out deal to stay put in Grove Hall

“Jen talked about leaving the city,” Dillon [Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development] said. “That is something we did not want to happen. There have been so many successful businesses that have spent time in CommonWealth Kitchen and then moved on. It would have been a significant loss to the city.”

Food incubator CommonWealth Kitchen buys 36,000-square-foot space in Dorchester

“Today is an awesome and auspicious day,” said Jen Faigel, executive director and co-founder of CommonWealth Kitchen. “After what has been truly one of the most difficult, grueling and exhausting 18 months of all of our lives, and certainly in my career, I’m thrilled to say we’re home.”

Watch the Announcement