In a climate where 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of opening and only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more, launching your own restaurant can seem daunting to say the least. But here at NeighborWorks, our beautiful, state-of-the-art commercial Millrace Kitchen space offers the tools necessary to help your start up stand the test of time.
Located at 40 South Main Street in downtown Woonsocket, our NeighborWorks’ Millrace Kitchen allows new business owners to reduce their start up expenses and expand their network, while simultaneously connecting culinary entrepreneurs with the business resources needed to eventually shift into their own brick and mortar location.
Emerging one after another from the Millrace Kitchen are several women-owned members who, after gaining the experience and customer base necessary during their time with NeighborWorks, have planted their very own culinary roots. Among these female powerhouse businesses are Providence based ice cream shop, Helado Taiyaki, Providence vegan and allergen friendly Blush Bakeshop, plant-based Warwick bakery Celebrated and Pawtucket chocolate shop Divas Dips and Gourmet Treats!
“We are ecstatic to share that we have acquired a kitchen and shoppe of our own!” Divas Dips co-owner Carissa Meekins expressed in a recent interview. “It has allowed us the time and space to work on more products and offer in store pickup at our new Hope Artiste Village location in Pawtucket.”
Formerly highlighted as a NeighborWorks Millrace member, the chocolate loving Divas look forward to the upcoming holiday season in their new brick and mortar location, that just opened their doors on October 29th.
“It’s definitely hot cocoa bomb season!” Carissa said. “Our cocoa bombs are the highlight of our holiday menu- but not to be outdone by our newly offered decorative sugar cookie! We will also be offering a Paint Your Own cookie, which is a fun way kids can occupy themselves at a holiday party- then eat their artwork!”
Celebrated, a bakery out to prove that plant-based treats can be both delicious and high quality, is thriving in their new Warwick location, where they’re enjoying the space necessary to aptly combine a passion for gourmet pastries with their love for animals and the earth.
“I’ve wanted to revolutionize the business world of baked goods!” Becky said. “Delivering happiness in the form of sweets and eating lots of cookie dough along the way is a bonus!”
After a brief COVID closure, the former Millrace business is thrilled to have its doors opens for walk-ins once again; with pre-order pickup also available Thursday through Sunday during business hours. Delivery also continues to be available Friday and Saturday from 9am to 2pm on orders of $50 or more; as well as as an add-on for local orders, based on travel time and mileage from shop.
We are still pinching ourselves that this all real. We have gotten help from so many amazing business people that we have met along the way!Carissa Meekins, Divas Dips and Gourmet Treats
Since opening in 2017, over 40 food businesses have worked out of this innovative and progressive kitchen space. Kitchen members, who rent the kitchen by the hour also utilize cooler and/or dry storage.
“Our incubator/commissary kitchen space is rented by a wide variety of talented culinary entrepreneurs,” Millrace Kitchen Manager Tracey Belliveau said. “This setup allows members to build their client base without having to purchase large equipment or their own brick and mortar store.”
Paving the way for start-ups with accessibility and fluidity, NeighborWorks Millrace Kitchen gives new businesses the tools they need to succeed long term.
For easy access, up to date information about NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley’s Millrace Kitchen, follow member stories on Facebook. Interested in starting up your own food business? Visit the Millrace Kitchen to learn more about our offerings.
See below for more information on these incredible women-owned businesses, location information and holiday news!