The first open plan shared commercial kitchen at the SPADE Enterprise Centre in Dublin City Centre was officially opened by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney TD. Based in North King Street in Dublin 7, the brand-new facility serves as an incubation centre for fledgling start-up food and drinks producers.
The state-of-the-art facility spans some 5,600 sq feet, including kitchen and storage facilities, providing capacity for 24 businesses. SPADE was developed with support from the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment through the Regional Enterprise Development (RED) Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland, with additional funding provided by Dublin City Council.
In formally opening SPADE, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney said: “I am delighted to mark this exciting development, building on the thriving food scene here in the heart of Dublin. SPADE’s new space will accelerate entrepreneurial activity in the area providing space for food start-ups to collaborate and innovate with access to state-of the art facilities including an interactive teaching and demo kitchen”.
Supported by over €2.7m in funding from Minister’s Coveney’s RED Fund, SPADE will provide high potential businesses with the practical support they need to flourish and prosper.
Carol Gibbons, Divisional Manager Regions and Local Enterprise in Enterprise Ireland commended the project. “SPADE has been supported by Enterprise Ireland through the RED Fund which provided funding for innovation and collaborative projects with the aim of supporting sustainable job creation in the regions. SPADE is tailor made for existing and start-up food companies to develop their product offering in this highly competitive sector.
“Located on the historic site of St Paul’s Church in the heart of D7 will drive increased value-added activity, collaboration and innovation, all helping to strengthen the start-up community within the locality.”
Bernie Everard, CEO, SPADE said “SPADE Shared Kitchen has got off to a flying start. We are overwhelmed by the response from food and drink start-ups. There is nowhere else like SPADE in Dublin, providing an exciting cohort of entrepreneurs with a truly unrivalled base that is affordable and sustainable”.
“We meet with potential members; explore their business ideas and they can then join SPADE for a membership fee of €50 a month and rent their space for just €12 an hour with just a minimum commitment of four hours. This takes the stress out of the initial start-up and allows people to trial their businesses for minimal outlay”.
Ms Everard noted the start-ups will be supported from the initial delicate start-up phase right up to how they distribute and sell their products.
“Also, we have a wonderful garden where we plan on having food markets, this then gives the food producers another advantage as they can sell their produce directly at this market and again it will be a place for local people to go and enjoy.” There are also future plans to provide E-cargo bikes to help our start-ups with deliveries”.
One such start up is Le Petit Four, a luxury, high-quality handcrafted patisserie run by Lan Luan, a 42-year-old Chinese national who came to Ireland over 20 years ago. She says not only has SPADE Shared Kitchen afforded her the best possible professional facilities, and rates, and it has given her renewed hopes for the success of her business.
“My business started in a home kitchen, but I want to move to wholesale and retail. I had been looking for a suitable commercial kitchen for a long time but simply couldn’t possibly afford the prohibitively expensive costs associated with renting a professional kitchen. SPADE Shared Kitchen got my attention before it even opened!
“I knew it was built and supported by Enterprise Ireland, was very affordable and had high-grade kitchen equipment; it is exactly what small start-up food producers need. At SPADE Shared Kitchen, I also meet other food producers so there’s a lovely synergy. I am so exited now about the next step in my business”.
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