Collaboration Nation: Five Communal Work Spaces Changing the Way We Eat in Boston

In our May issue, we told you all about CropCircle Kitchen’s new Dorchester innovation center. Here are five additional spaces that enable small, food-minded businesses to thrive and work together.

Left: KitchenInc in Somerville. Right: Aeronaut in Somerville. Both images via Facebook

Left: KitchenInc in Somerville. Right: Aeronaut in Somerville. Both images via Facebook

In our May issue, we took you under the roof of CropCircle’s Pearl Food Production Small Business Center, a massive structure offering a commissary kitchen, shared kitchen, and private leased spaces designed to help small food businesses thrive. While the center is certainly the biggest and most complex of its kind in the Boston area, it’s not the only one. Here, a look at a few other culinary-minded shared spaces in the area—and the innovations coming out of their respective kitchens.

Kitchen Inc., Somerville
With a sprawling 4,000 square feet of rental space, including a storefront area dedicated to pop-up experiences—former Beacon Hill Bistro chef Joshua Lewin recently held a brunch there—this incubator offers a bevy of amenities for up-and-coming food ventures.
Current businesses: Cocktail pros Booze Époque, vegetarian food truck Rhythm ’n Wraps, and Sproot, which whips up boxed lunches for preschoolers.
Coming soon: The pop-up space will soon double as a retail shop where entrepreneurs can sell their wares. The kitchen also regularly holds classes taught by its members—Booze Époque, for instance, will be hosting a signature-cocktail course on June 6.

Kitchen Local, Amesbury
When owner Lisa Sutton couldn’t find permitted space to start her own quiche business, she decided to open up this 1,400-square-foot shared-use kitchen, housed in an old Amesbury mill building, instead. The rental space features baking and catering facilities that can be used by up to two cooks at a time.
Current businesses: Natural baby-food purveyor Fresh Beginnings, Paleo-inspired baking company Kaeli-O-Kookies, and Atlantic Saltworks, which hand-harvests sea salt directly from North Shore waters.
Coming soon: Try your hand at Bulgarian or Moroccan cuisine at one of the kitchen’s interactive cooking classes.

The Grange Kitchen, Dartmouth
Part of the historical Dartmouth Grange organization, this 2,000-square-foot nonprofit kitchen offers a quiet space stocked with all the tools—six-burner range, 40-gallon tilting braising/skillet pan, 40-quart immersion blender, automated filling machine—a culinary startup needs.
Current businesses: Coffee company 1773 Roasters, gourmet jam and jelly maker Doves and Figs, and Smackadoodles, which bakes up an array of sweet and savory buns.
Coming soon: Socialize and sample goodies from kitchen members at the annual Taste of the Grange later this year.

Aeronaut Brewing, Somerville
In addition to producing cutting-edge beers, Aeronaut is offering up its massive space to small businesses that it plans to collaborate with in the future.
Current businesses: Coffee roaster Barismo, bean-to-bar chocolate CSA Somerville Chocolate, and Something Gud, which delivers locally sourced food to home kitchens.
Coming soon:The actual beer! Aeuronaut is planning on a May launch.

The Food Loft
While most of the communal workspaces listed here focus solely on food production, the Food Loft, in the South End—founded by independent cookbook publisher Harvard Common Press—also welcomes other culinary-minded companies.
Current businesses: Include Bonnie’s Jams, Culture magazine (all about cheese), delivery service Caviar, sustainability-minded startup Cabbige.
Coming soon: Look out for more interesting startups to join the space, and upcoming events.