Hudson Kitchen, a culinary incubator in Jersey City since 2015, will open and relocate to an 8,000-square-foot shared-use commercial kitchen at Kearny Point in South Kearny by spring 2019, Djenaba Johnson-Jones, founder and CEO, said.
“Hudson Kitchen will offer growth and sustainability opportunities to local culinary visionaries who not only are looking for a facility to prepare their goods, but also for a network of collaborative and like-minded entrepreneurs,” Johnson-Jones said.
While the new facility will be the largest and second of its kind in northern New Jersey — Bellamy Kitchen, run by Meredith Chartier, opened last November in Union City — Johnson-Jones and Hudson Kitchen will join several food- and beverage-related ventures at Kearny Point, a collection of more than 2 million anticipated square feet of co-working and flexible-use space located five miles outside of Manhattan on a 130-acre site formerly designed to build ships during wartime.
“Kearny Point provides us with the optimal space and amenities to expand our operation and offers us the chance to join an incredible environment of creative individuals who share in our passion for fostering entrepreneurial growth,” Johnson-Jones said.
“Hudson Kitchen’s operation is a true representation of Kearny Point’s mission and values,” said Wendy Neu, CEO of Hugo Neu, the owner and redeveloper of Kearny Point. “Djenaba and her team are breaking down the barriers for culinary entrepreneurs and small businesses and creating a place in which they can benefit from the physical attributes of their space, as well as added amenities, educational programming and events led by both Hudson Kitchen and our own Kearny Point management team.”
Johnson-Jones had worked in business development for media brands such as Conde Nast and Hearst for more than 15 years prior to her creating Hudson Kitchen. When she was laid off, Johnson-Jones said she wanted to deliver prepared meals to clients as part of an entrepreneurial health and fitness business — however, she quickly discovered that New Jersey is the only state to prohibit homemade food goods for sale.
Johnson-Jones therefore launched Hudson Kitchen and worked closely with the Jersey City Economic Development Corp. to help food entrepreneurs launch, market and grow their businesses with consulting services, networking events, educational workshops and more, while continually working toward offering commercial kitchen and storage rental.
That goal will soon become a reality at one of the most significant adaptive reuse projects in the country, complete with commercial-grade kitchen equipment, individual food prep stations and extensive dry, cold and freezer storage.
“Our modern workspace will offer local food and beverage artisans and creators the opportunity to pursue their culinary dreams and grow their businesses,” Johnson-Jones said.
Hudson Kitchen members also will have access to on-site food truck parking, co-working space and a test kitchen specifically designed for cooking demonstrations, photoshoots and filming live cooking shows.
Entrepreneurs interested in becoming members of Hudson Kitchen should register for more information at thehudsonkitchen.com/membership.