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Flavors, the "WeWork" of Kitchen Spaces

Flavors is a member-based, commercial kitchen and workspace incubator with a focus in elevating black & brown culinary entrepreneurs.

$2,724
pledged of$50,000 goal
10
31Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on November 30, 2020

Project Description

Flavors vision is a shared commercial kitchen incubator and coworking space. We are proud to have an active 43 member virtual network where culinary creatives build on their skills and strengthen their businesses.  Black woman owned and operated, Flavors is planned to be the largest culinary incubator in Prince George's County, MD boasting an 8000 sq. foot facility which will consist of a state-of-the-art savory and confectionery shared kitchens, meeting rooms, demo kitchen and ample dry/cold/freezer storage.

We are actively welcoming Founding Members to join us in our "Journey-to-Launch" and adding to our 40 active member community. To apply for membership, please head over to https://whatsyourflavor.co/ to complete our application. 

 

 

 

THE CHALLENGE 

Prince George's County has over 1,000 registered small business food entrepreneurs, but the county lacks resources and infrastructure to support and grow this economic base, which forces these small businesses into neighboring counties and Washington, DC to access licensed commercial kitchens.

1. Culinary entrepreneurs often lack startup money to invest, grow and maintain their business. It's expensive to own and operate a commercial kitchen!

2. Caterers, bakers, food trucks, private chefs often bounce around renting commercial space for their meal prep. It's time consuming and a logistical headache to secure often unreliable access to kitchens, while the kitchens that are available are often not conveniently located.

3. There are too many siloed inaccessible resources for food entrepreneurs. The business learning curve for the culinary arts profession can be vast with creatives, which can make access to funding, contracts, and client referrals often difficult to find.

4. Prince George's County, MD and specifically Landover, MD is dominated by corporate food chains and lacks quality and healthier food alternatives.

5. Black and brown culinary professionals are often left behind in the advancement of their entrepreneurial endeavors due to limited access and resources. With many landlords unwilling to allow the conversion of their properties into commercial kitchen spaces (ask us how we know) and the spaces that are available, the capital outlay required is so expensive. Many culinary entrepreneurs find their way back to corporate careers to take care of their families and continue their passion in the culinary industry, leaving their entrepreneurial dreams as a side hustle. 

 

THE SOLUTION

Flavors solves these problems by providing a full service culinary incubator.

1. Affordable, flexible entry level membership rates for small business allowing them to invest within their budget and grow incrementally. With more than 1,000 food and beverage entrepreneurs, Flavors is slated to serve at least 142 members at the Landover, MD facility between start-up, emerging, and growth-based brands.

2. Dedicated savory and confectionery shared kitchens, and the online booking platform allows chefs to schedule their work according to their schedule in the convenience of Prince George's County.

3. Full-service model holistically supports food entrepreneurs: co-working space, professional development mentoring community, access to government bids all in one community and one facility.

4. Flavors will deliver more healthy and diverse food options while supporting small culinary businesses.

 

WHAT WE OFFER

 

Flavors will be a beautifully designed, modern, and shared commercial kitchen incubator, work, and event space for food and beverage creatives. We'll take away the logistical headache and make it easy for culinary entrepreneurs to grow their business and test new products. As a member-based facility, members will enjoy the following amenities:

  • Affordable memberships that match different business models, part-time, full-time, start-ups and established brands; 

  • Facility for all creatives: private chefs, consumer package good brands, caterers, food trucks, bakers, dessert artist, pop-ups, event planners, hospitality instructors, and beverage brands; 

  • Funding referrals: government and corporate contracts, grants, start-up pitches;

  • Suburban location with ample off-street FREE parking for members and their catering and food trucks;

  • Supportive community with mentoring, professional development, and networking opportunities, with particular focus on empowering underserved chefs that are often priced out of other facilities; 

  • Flexible hours, 24/7 access to online kitchen booking;

  • Event space for cooking classes, tastings, pop-up menus, corporate events, workshops, and food-based meetings.

 

THE SPACE

We're creating a safe space for the Greater Washington's region food and beverage creatives to thrive, connect, and build! 

The planned space will include: 

  • Fully loaded shared savory kitchen and shared confectionery kitchen

  • Wired conference rooms with WiFi, phones and projectors 

  • A relaxing member's lounge, with lunch tables and comfortable seating 

  • Storage lockers for member's personal items and to collect mail 

  • Dry and frozen storage to accommodate inventory

  • Beautiful, state of the art demonstration kitchen and meeting space to host fun food events 

  • Shared workspaces with free WiFi, standing and seated desks 

COMMUNITY BUILDING 

Members will enjoy a diverse schedule of programming, in-person events, and virtual events featuring industry professionals and local brands. Flavors priority is expanding learning opportunities for personal and professional growth.

While our current 40 Chef-members are awaiting our grand opening, you can find them in our private virtual Founder's Lounge where we bring industry professionals in to host the following:

  • Empowering Lunch & Learns across a variety of topics: personal finance, government contracts, trademark and intellectual property law, market research, mental health etc.

 

COVID-19 AND FUTURE HEALTH/FINANCIAL PANDEMICS

The current COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the world; however, our chef members, who are utilizing other licensed commercial kitchens, have experienced a more than 300% increase in client services due to the need for food services from current and new clients.  Our chef members have not experienced a decline in requests for their food services during the 2020 health pandemic; yet many have had to decline work when their commercial kitchens were overbooked and unavailable for their use. 

Flavors, being a food hub, will have the opportunity to serve local communities with services such as farmer's markets as well as being a local pick-up depot for essential food services should the need arise in future pandemics. Central pick-up depots have been a necessity during the pandemic and a need we can fulfill without interruption to our members and their needs. 

Members, offering delivery and/or pick-up services will have a dedicated pick-up counter to provide a contact-free pick-up spot for food orders. The facility will comply with all the County and State guidelines for food safety, cleaning and sanitizing, employee health monitoring, and social distancing. 

 

WHY CROWD FUNDING?

We are exploring many avenues for funding, including our own personal savings, as well as traditional funding from banks and VCs. And with such a capital intensive project at the forefront, which includes a commercial kitchen build-out in our Landover, MD facility, we need all the help we can get! Crowdfunding helps to ensure that we are able to create the best space for our local chefs, so they no longer have to search for kitchen space in neighboring counties and cities and they have a safe and health-inspected facility to grow their business for years to come. 

We believe the power of Flavors lies within the community to help us meet our goals. Our black and brown chefs matter and deserve the resources and opportunities afforded to other communities to grow successful food and beverage brands beyond the local market. Prince George's County, MD, a major sub-set of the DMV (Washington, DC, Northern, VA, and Maryland tri-state region) while also being one of the most affluent counties in America, with a demographic of 98% of African Americans. We decided to turn to iFundWomen, a crowdfunding platform that supports the aspirations of women to get the job done. Funds secured through our crowdfunding campaign will be used to build out our physical space and purchase state-of-the-art commercial kitchen equipment which is the most critical component of Flavors.

HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT?

We have some really "tasty" rewards for you to support our campaign! We invite you to contribute at any level. Thank you so much for your support in helping Flavors grow into a successful artisan culinary hub that promotes job growth for food and beverage industry professionals in Prince George's County! #BuyPrinceGeorges #PrinceGeorgesProud

Also, beginning September 1, 2020, please join us live as we begin our pop-up podcast: Kitchen Conversations After Dark featuring live interviews from within our Flavors Founder Community, as well as local food and beverage entrepreneurs around the DMV that we'd love for you to meet and support. The schedule will be posted on our Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/Flavorsnation/,so be sure to follow our page for updates.

We also welcome sponsorship and investment conversations. Please contact Samia Bingham, Founder & CEO at Hello@WhatsYourFlavor.co.

 

Samia Bingham, Flavors Founder & CEO

 

FOUNDER

Flavors was founded by Samia Bingham after an evening conversation with her husband Chris who had a desire to launch a food truck to support his new plant-based lifestyle. Locating a convenient space in Prince George's County was challenging as there were limited and unorthodox options, which included commuting to Washington, DC (traffic in and around DC would prove to be daunting while trying to get to allowable food truck selling locations), using church kitchens (sharing space and managing delays/interruptions due to the owner's needs of the kitchen could not be controlled),  and using nightclubs/active restaurants (private events, storage, and health standards which could be interrupted with a violation from the Health Department proved to be yet another hurdle that could interfere with business operations). 

While Samia has enjoyed a successful entrepreneurial journey in the government contracts consulting sector, as well as Real Estate and Commercial Property Management, she decided that it was time expand her brand and build a culinary artisan space that would become the epicenter for black and brown food and beverage entrepreneurs to grow and expand--and she was the one to do it!

FOUNDER'S NOTE: WHY AM I SO UNIQUELY QUALIFIED?

I have been working 10 years in the real estate industry (residential and commercial), and the government contracts sector for 11 years. I also understand from the customer's point of view how lack of resources and infrastructure hurts their growth. Because of my domain expertise and my client experiences, I am uniquely qualified to help solve this problem for my culinary community. Since 2017 we have secured more than $450K in government sub/prime contracts.

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

What equipment will be included in the kitchen space? Flavors will offer a variety of equipment to cater to our members’ needs. Equipment includes, but is not limited to, walk-in cold and dry storage, double ovens, prep tables, fryers, mixers, and burners.

When is Flavors opening for business? Due to COVID-19, Flavors is scheduled to be open in 2021.

Is there a way to stay updated with Flavors Culinary Complex news? Absolutely! To stay updated, please visit our website at whatsyourflavor.co for more details.

Where is the space? Our space will be located in Landover, MD. The visuals you see above are just an example of the aesthetic we are building and not actual pictures of the space.

Is Flavors Kid-Chef friendly? Our Kid-Chefs are welcome into Flavors with an adult supervisor age 25 and older who must also be a licensed Food Manager at all times. We are currently exploring whether children can assist their parents during prep in the kitchen.  We will know more as we get closer to our grand opening.

Are there age requirements to join Flavors? While Flavors will sometimes host events that are made for all ages,  our memberships are only available to culinary entrepreneurs 21+.

Does Flavors provide parking? Flavors will offer ample, free and off-street parking. We will also be conveniently located from multiple bus stops. The closest metro stations are Landover and Morgan Boulevard.

Are people that identify as non-black and brown culinary entrepreneurs allowed at Flavors? ABSOLUTELY!!! Flavors is only EXCLUSIVE to the culinary industry; yet we are INCLUSIVE and we welcome culinary entrepreneurs from every race, sex, sexuality, nationality, and age (minimum age requirement must be met).  We are building a mecca of diverse foods and we welcome allies and supporters in our fight for equality in and outside of the kitchen.

Are we looking for investors? Absolutely. Flavors is in active negotiations with investors, so if you're interested in discussing further, please drop us a line at hello@whatsyourflavor.co.

How would I use Flavors as someone with a 9-to-5? We think of Flavors as a place for you to be your best self both personally and professionally - we want our members to actively use everything we have to offer in a way that makes sense for them. While you may not find yourself "working" here full-time, we've designed Flavors with the flexibility and amenities to select the membership that meets your start-up and growing culinary brand. 

In addition to our member services, our programming events are meant to empower and enrich our members’ lives. They are arranged by monthly theme and covers topics as wide and diverse as Personal Finance to Entrepreneurial Insights to Social Activism and more. Check out our membership tiers and become a Founding Member today to gain access to our private Founder's Lounge and start reaping the benefits of your new kitchen at: https://whatsyourflavor.co/.

 

"Community Begins In Our Kitchen™"

~Samia Bingham, Founder & CEO

 

 

Jewels Rhode
10/25/2020
Soulful Vegan Virtual Cooking Class
$99
Sydney
10/23/2020
Black Chef's Matter
$100
Tequilla Wheeler
10/22/2020
Monetary Contribution
$250
EA
09/14/2020
VIP Launch Party
$1,000
AsapHandswell
09/07/2020
Monetary Contribution
$25
Vinh
08/27/2020
It's a Family Affair Contribution
$50
Black Women In Commercial Real Estate
08/26/2020
Monetary Contribution
$1,000
Brittany Yates
08/25/2020
Black Chef's Matter
$100
JC
08/25/2020
It's a Family Affair Contribution
$50
SE
08/25/2020
Monetary Contribution
$50
Monetary Contribution

Show our Chef's some love.

16 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
Flavors Coffee Mug

Enjoy a cup of joe or hot tea with our stylish  Flavors heat-resistant & dishwasher safe coffee mug.

Your purchase will help us service more culinary entrepreneurs who need access to commercial kitchen space in Prince George's County, MD.

48 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
99.00 USD
Flavors T-Shirt

Receive a Flavors T-shirt 👕 to wear in support of our mission to bring our amazing culinary entrepreneurs home to Prince George's County, MD. 

 

50 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
99.00 USD
Soulful Vegan Virtual Cooking Class

Participate in a live virtual cooking class with a Vegan Flavors Chef who will be adapting your traditional soul food favorites with a vegan spin. 

 

29 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
350.00 USD
Flavors Founding Member

Sign on as a Founding Member and be one of the first in line to book time in the kitchen, as well as get updates on kitchen launch before the general public.

Founding Member Amenities:

1. Access to our exclusive and private virtual culinary community: The Founder's Lounge;
2. Exclusive early-bird rates for founding members only;
3. First access to be featured in our new app!;
4. Early access to all Flavors business and professional development programs, courses, workshops, and events;
5. Fourteen (14) days of exclusive access to reservation system and kitchen space before the general public;
6. VIP invite to our Flavors Founding Member private pre-launch dinner and tour;
7. Info on culinary government/commercial contracts available for bid or partnerships with Flavors;
8. Exclusive updates on the Flavors journey and your new workspace;
9. Access to state-of-the-art cooking facilities and equipment, well-equipped meeting, and workspaces, as well as approved and regulated dry/cold/freezer storage before the general public;
10. Referrals, local leads, opportunities, and resources to access short and long-term contract opportunities with private, corporate, retail, wholesale, and government agencies.

 

10 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
VIP Launch Party

Each contributor will receive a Private Pre-Opening Tour + 2 tickets to our Flavors Launch Party, which includes a tasting.

9 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Show our Chef's some love.

16 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
Flavors Coffee Mug

Enjoy a cup of joe or hot tea with our stylish  Flavors heat-resistant & dishwasher safe coffee mug.

Your purchase will help us service more culinary entrepreneurs who need access to commercial kitchen space in Prince George's County, MD.

48 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
99.00 USD
Flavors T-Shirt

Receive a Flavors T-shirt 👕 to wear in support of our mission to bring our amazing culinary entrepreneurs home to Prince George's County, MD. 

 

50 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
99.00 USD
Soulful Vegan Virtual Cooking Class

Participate in a live virtual cooking class with a Vegan Flavors Chef who will be adapting your traditional soul food favorites with a vegan spin. 

 

29 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
350.00 USD
Flavors Founding Member

Sign on as a Founding Member and be one of the first in line to book time in the kitchen, as well as get updates on kitchen launch before the general public.

Founding Member Amenities:

1. Access to our exclusive and private virtual culinary community: The Founder's Lounge;
2. Exclusive early-bird rates for founding members only;
3. First access to be featured in our new app!;
4. Early access to all Flavors business and professional development programs, courses, workshops, and events;
5. Fourteen (14) days of exclusive access to reservation system and kitchen space before the general public;
6. VIP invite to our Flavors Founding Member private pre-launch dinner and tour;
7. Info on culinary government/commercial contracts available for bid or partnerships with Flavors;
8. Exclusive updates on the Flavors journey and your new workspace;
9. Access to state-of-the-art cooking facilities and equipment, well-equipped meeting, and workspaces, as well as approved and regulated dry/cold/freezer storage before the general public;
10. Referrals, local leads, opportunities, and resources to access short and long-term contract opportunities with private, corporate, retail, wholesale, and government agencies.

 

10 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
VIP Launch Party

Each contributor will receive a Private Pre-Opening Tour + 2 tickets to our Flavors Launch Party, which includes a tasting.

9 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward