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Food business incubator creates excitement among entrepreneurs

Over-the-Rhine chocolatier Paul Picton, owner of Maverick Chocolate Company, is looking for a way to grow his business to include chocolate desserts. But, right now, he doesn't have the kitchen equipment he needs to experiment and produce products on a larger scale.

Beginning this fall he'll be able to use a new 8,000 square foot food facility called The Kitchen @ Findlay Market. Picton can rent by the hour and will have access to one of five kitchens. There are no restrictions on who can use the facility.

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
The 8,000 square foot facility will feature five kitchens.

The food business incubator is inside the former Ziebart commercial garage at 1719 Elm Street. The now vacant building will be gutted and rebuilt. President and CEO of Findlay Market, Joe Hansbauer, says the $2.5 million The Kitchen @ Findlay Market was 100 percent funded by philanthropists including:

  • The Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation
  • The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation
  • Allan and Jennie Rosenthal Berliant Family Foundation

Hansbauer says The Kitchen @ Findlay Market is the largest food incubator in the region and only one of 120 in the nation. He says the facility is helping to transform the OTR neighborhood.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.