Retail Accelerators

Our retail accelerator program provides a low-risk way for our caterers and food trucks to test out or expand their restaurant concept.

Plus, with more diverse restaurants on the scene, we’re making Greater Boston a more vibrant, fun, and representative place to live and work

The Launchpad at MIT

CommonWealth Kitchen and MIT have come up with a unique partnership to help incubate small, minority-owned businesses and launch them to the next step—hungry students with global appetites and prepaid meal cards!

In September 2021, we opened The CommonWealth Kitchen Launchpad at MIT, setting up three of our immigrant-owned businesses to take over the operations of the food court at the MIT student center.

The Launchpad features Bibim Box, a Korean restaurant featuring bibimbap, salads, and sandwiches; Tawakal Halal, authentic Somali cuisine; and Las Carolinas, a Venezuelan restaurant specializing in arepas. And in keeping with our commitment to strengthen the ties between the food businesses in our network, these vendors have also begun to feature drinks, desserts, and other great food from other members of our extended business community.

Each business leases a turnkey retail kiosk for the academic year with a built-in customer base and pays a percentage of sales in lieu of rent. It’s a win for everyone involved: 

  • The MIT community gets access to delicious, authentic, and diverse food options. 
  • The administration improves its commitment to equitable and diverse contracting.
  • Startup food businesses get to operate high-value retail kiosks with little up-front cash required and
  • CommonWealth Kitchen advances its mission of building a new food economy truly grounded in racial, social, and economic justice. 

Stratton Student Center
84 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

CommonWealth @Kendall

Due to construction, this kiosk is no longer in operation!

In 2018, in partnership with BioMed Realty, we launched CommonWealth Kitchen @Kendall, bringing innovative food businesses to a new take-out kiosk in the heart of Cambridge’s Kendall Square. 

This was our first experiment in leasing dedicated retail space for our food trucks and caterers, providing them an opportunity to gain experience running a take-out restaurant, test new recipes, and build their customer base.

Every four-six months, we rotate in a new member business to run the restaurant, providing a fresh culinary experience to Kendall Square workers and residents in the neighborhood.

Since opening, the kiosk has been home to The Dining CarJamaica Mi Hungry, and Bibim Box. After their residency, Jamaica Mi Hungry has opened two restaurants, The Dining Car opened their first brick and mortar, and Bibim Box is thriving at our MIT location!

300B Athenaeum Street
Henri A. Termeer Square, Cambridge, MA