D7 enterprise centre, SPADE providing the perfect support for business start-ups

by Rose Barrett
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The first open plan shared commercial kitchen has opened at SPADE Enterprise Centre on North King Street in Dublin 7. The brand-new 6,000 sq ft facility will serve as an incubation centre for fledgling start-up food and drinks producers and includes kitchen and storage facilities, with the capacity for 24 businesses.

Co-funded by Enterprise Ireland, Dublin City Council and SPADE (St. Paul’s Area Development Enterprise) the facility has cost in the region of €3m to set up.

CEO Bernie Everard says: “This new facility at SPADE is totally unique and is going to transform how newcomers produce their food and beverages. There is nowhere else like it in Dublin, and it will provide an exciting cohort of entrepreneurs with a truly unrivalled base that is affordable and sustainable. The whole business of producing food and drinks is a huge financial undertaking for new start-ups. Many have wonderful ideas but simply cannot afford the prohibitively expensive commercial kitchens.

L-r: Emer McGrath, SPADE Shared Kitchen Community Dev Manager, Phil Smith, SPADE Shared Kitchen Operations Manager and Bernie Everard CEO SPADE

After business ideas are discussed, budding entrepreneurs can then join SPADE for a fee of €50 a month and rent their space for just €12 an hour with a minimum commitment of four hours.
Advice, support and the necessary equipment plus the location in Dublin 7 with great community support makes SPADE the inevitable choice for budding business start-ups. The facility also has a garden where future food markets are planned, along with plans to introduce E Cargo bikes to assist start-ups with deliveries!

Conor Sweeny is the young entrepreneur behind the wildly successful ‘Dae’ plant-based ice cream brand. Losing his job as a chef during Covid was, he says, the spark that ignited a passion for researching and creating his unique ‘free from’ ice cream. Dae is now selling into some 120 shops as well as hotels and restaurants with plans to tackle the export market next. Conor (28) says SPADE was “a wonderful sounding board for me, in so many ways. I had access to an incredible fit for purpose space, encouragement, and lots and lots of fellow food entrepreneurs who were willing and able to help me any time I asked.”

Rachel Byrne is one half of ‘Zingibeer’, a craft beer she co-founded with her father, Kevin. She found the facilities, especially the equipment and peer support excellent. “SPADE allows people to test their concepts. It offers so much more than just a production space; it’s all about mentorship, camaraderie, and encouragement.”

For Dublin based couple Adrianna Cocenza Novaes and her husband, Marcelo above, being accepted into SPADE was the boost they needed to launch and grow their Lebanese food business, ‘Zaira’.

“SPADE has been an absolute lifeline for us.  We knew we had a good food business concept as Irish people just love Lebanese food. SPADE was a marvellous launch pad.  I did the Food Starter Academy with LEO and this put me on the path to SPADE. I love the buzz and the company of other people making food for a living. There is always somebody around who can help and answer questions and we have made wonderful connections. We know our business will grow and develop and SPADE has given us the injection of confidence we needed”.See www.spade.ie   SPADE Enterprise Centre is located at St Paul’s, a 200-year-old church located on North King Street, D07 CX22.

Feature photo: Rachel Byrne of ‘Zingibeer’

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