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Revolving Test Kitchen Reopens with New Focus

September 16, 2021 : El Mundo Boston

Small food businesses entrepreneurs in Lawrence received great news this past week.

Businesses like food trucks, catering companies and food delivery companies who need certain resources like an ample and modern place to store and prep food, now have a shared commercial kitchen.

This new space is located on the first floor of Northern Essex Community College’s 420 Common Street Building in Lawrence.

This new food business incubator will provide ample culinary workspaces with multiple prep and cook spaces with dry and cold storage, while also offering members access to culinary and business experts in the food industry.

“Everything about this space embraces the best of this city. This building was almost empty a few years ago and now we are offering classes here, preparing local residents for careers and launching new businesses from aspiring food entrepreneurs. It’s very exciting,” said Northern Essex Community College President Lane Glenn.

On Monday, Sept. 13, a small group came together to celebrate with a ribbon cutting in the newly renovated space.

At the reopening, business and community leaders enjoyed a buffet prepared by two RTK member entrepreneurs, Danny Torres of El Encanto, who runs a food truck featuring Puerto Rican foods, and Jessy Melo, owner of Jessy’s Clean Meals, a weekly meal prep service.

There was also a short program emceed by Wendy Estrella, Lawrence Partnership board chair and featuring remarks by Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex, Mike Kennealy, secretary, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Kendrys Vasquez, mayor of Lawrence, and George Ramirez, executive director, Lawrence Partnership.
RTK Ribbon Cutting: Left to right: Jessy Melo, Jessy’s Clean Meals; George Ramirez, Lawrence Partnership; Theresa Parks, MassDevelopment; Lane Glenn, NECC; Wendy Estrella, Lawrence Partnership; Mike Kennealy, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development; Mayor Kendrys Vasquez, Lawrence; Senator Barry Finegold; Representative Marcos Devers; Danny Torres, El Encanto; Hilton Torres, El Encanto.

“We are looking for businesses to come and join,” said Ramirez. “If you have been cooking from home and are looking to grow, we would love to partner with you,” said Ramirez.

RTK members pay a $350 refundable deposit and a monthly base rent of $350 that includes 10 hours of kitchen time as well as well as facility costs, food safety auditing, member meetings and roundtable discussions, and promotion.

The facility will be open for food production from 4 am to midnight with 24-hour access for its members. Space is booked on a first-come, first-served policy. Members reserve times through an online platform.

To learn more, more or access the application, visit the Lawrence Partnership website, www.lawrencepartnership.org.