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Fork Food Lab relocates to South Portland, doubles opportunities for local culinary businesses

The new location will serve as an 18,000-square-foot home for 70 local culinary entrepreneurs.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Fork Food Lab has bid farewell to its former Portland location and officially opened its doors in South Portland. 

This relocation not only brings a fresh start but also doubles the opportunities available for businesses that craft their culinary creations within the facility.

The new Fork Food Lab spans a generous 18,000 square feet, providing a dynamic workspace for an impressive array of 70 local culinary businesses. Chefs, cooks, and bakers can now be found diligently honing their crafts in this expansive new environment.

One such entrepreneur is Liz Mott, the owner of Sunnyfield Baking Company, who made her culinary debut at the lab's previous location. 

Mott reflects on the transformation, stating, "The old space was very limited in a lot of ways, but the opportunities for scaling up at the new location are exceptional."

Another success story at the Fork Food Lab is Little Brother Chinese Food, whose co-founders, Richard Lee and Claire Guyer, have seized the chance to upscale their frozen food business with new licensing. 

Richard and Claire expressed their excitement, "We've been able to pursue licensing that we didn't have in the old facility. That'll really change things in a really awesome way for our business, so we are finally reaping the rewards of making that change."

With this new licensing in place, they can now introduce meat into their delectable dumplings, opening up exciting possibilities for their menu.

The journey from a modest 5,200 square feet to a spacious 18,000-square-foot kitchen has allowed Fork Food Lab to incorporate cutting-edge inductive appliances and ample open space. 

These additions pave the way for welcoming even more budding culinary entrepreneurs into their thriving community.

Corinne Tompkins, the deputy executive director of Fork Food Lab, envisions a bright future, noting, "We can hold between 100 and 120 businesses here, and we are actively onboarding. I'd like to have 90 businesses working here by the end of the year."

What makes Fork Food Lab truly unique is its round-the-clock availability—open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

This accessibility is designed to support entrepreneurs from all walks of life. Corinne emphasizes this inclusive approach, saying, "If you're someone who has never worked in a food manufacturing environment in the past and you want to start a food business, we can provide you with the support and resources so you feel comfortable and confident before you even start your business."

Looking ahead, Fork Food Lab has ambitious plans to further enrich the culinary landscape. They intend to introduce an event space, a store, and a pop-up dining room, all conveniently located under one roof, set to launch in spring 2024.

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