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New food incubator opens in Preston offering local start-up businesses a place to grow

Frances Coppolillo (CE of Melbourne Polytechnic), David Williamson (CEO Melbourne Innovation Centre) and Cr Lina Messina (Mayor of the City of Darebin) cut the ribbon to launch FoodINC.

FoodINC launch:

A new commercial kitchen and food incubator, the Food Incubator + Network Centre (FoodINC), was opened in Preston on Friday 29 April offering food start-ups and hospitality entrepreneurs a dedicated space and support network for their businesses to flourish. 

FoodINC has been conceived and delivered by Melbourne Innovation Centre, Melbourne Polytechnic and Melbourne’s North Food Group in response to the gap in access to affordable, commercial-quality facilities and education services for small food businesses in Melbourne.

Who is FoodINC for?

From established restaurant owners branching out into retail products such as baked goods or at-home dinner kits, to entrepreneurs with a ‘side hustle’ business at home in need of commercial facilities to scale up their production.

Why does Melbourne need a food incubator?

FoodINC aims to remove the barrier for small businesses to access commercial-grade facilities and the expert support needed to turn passion projects into long-term, sustainable ventures, particularly in the context of the new food business landscape.

Lou Zarro, manager of FoodINC from Melbourne Innovation Centre said: “Melbourne’s hospitality industry has experienced tremendous change following the disruption of COVID-19, from staffing issues to the rise of food delivery services and the changing tastes of the community.

“The development of FoodINC recognises the need to realign professional support and facilities for the food service industry and ensure that food start-ups can access a wealth of professional development and collaborative industry expertise to fuel their business success.”

FoodINC’s network support

Melbourne Polytechnic’s industry-expert educators will lead support services, providing training across compliance, occupational health and safety, and food safety.

Kerryn Lester-Smith, director of strategic partnerships at Melbourne Polytechnic said:

“We’re seeing a new wave of entrepreneurs following the impacts of COVID-19, with many hospitality businesses needing to diversify their offering to stay profitable, coupled with many Melburnians considering a complete career change.

“From those looking to explore an idea but unsure where to begin, to people operating small businesses from home and looking to upscale, FoodINC nurtures many facets of small business recovery,” Kerryn says.

FoodINC access

An annual membership to FoodINC costs $350 with kitchen access available at $40/hour. The membership offers an onboarding welcome pack, networking and mentoring opportunities, online training resources, subsidised professional training and development from Melbourne Polytechnic, plus access to commercial kitchen appliances.

Web: foodincubator.com.au

Instagram: @food_incubator_melbourne

Cookery and Patisserie courses at Melbourne Polytechnic

If you're inspired to start a career in a culinary field, browse our cookery courses and make an enquiry today.

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery - Non-apprenticeship SIT30816
Hospitality - Full Time, Part Time - Preston, Prahran, Workplace and Industry
Free Tafe Job Trainer VTAC Hospitality - Full Time, Part Time - Preston, Prahran, Workplace and Industry
Are you interested in carving a career in the thriving hospitality scene? Food is a necessity of life and people with skills in Commercial Cookery can work anywhere from the local pub to top international restaurants and hotels. If you want to gain skills in the culinary industry, our popular Certificate III in Commercial Cookery SIT30816 is the right choice for you.
Certificate IV in Patisserie SIT40716
Hospitality - Full Time, Traineeship - Preston, Workplace and Industry
Hospitality - Full Time, Traineeship - Preston, Workplace and Industry
Our Certificate IV in Patisserie is truly the icing on the cake for your career in Patisserie. We’ll guide you through your patisserie training with industry-qualified professionals in modern, world class facilities.
Certificate III in Patisserie SIT31016
Hospitality - Full Time, Part Time - Preston, Workplace and Industry
Job Trainer VTAC Hospitality - Full Time, Part Time - Preston, Workplace and Industry
Become the face behind those delectable cake shop and patisserie creations. Our Certificate III in Patisserie SIT31016 will develop creativity and passion for detail as you take the first step in your career as a pastry chef. If you are an Apprentice Pastry cook, or seeking a qualification, or if you simply want a career change, this course is for you.
Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery SIT40516
Hospitality - Full Time, Part Time, Traineeship - Preston, Prahran
Hospitality - Full Time, Part Time, Traineeship - Preston, Prahran
Are you an aspiring head chef or restaurant owner? Our Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery SIT40516 provides the ingredients and techniques you need to cook up a tantalizing career.
Diploma of Hospitality Management SIT50416
Hospitality - Full Time - Preston
VTAC Hospitality - Full Time - Preston
Unleash your leadership potential in hospitality by developing strong practical skills, hands-on experience and excellent leadership capability. Our Diploma of Hospitality Management SIT50416 equips you with all the skills to gain a management position within this exciting industry.
Certificate III in Commercial Cookery - Apprenticeship SIT30816
Hospitality - Apprentice, Part Time - Preston, Prahran, Workplace and Industry
VTAC Hospitality - Apprentice, Part Time - Preston, Prahran, Workplace and Industry
Are you interested in carving a career in the thriving hospitality scene? Food is a necessity of life and people with skills in Commercial Cookery can work anywhere from the local pub to top international restaurants and hotels. If you want to gain skills in the culinary industry, our popular Certificate III in Commercial Cookery SIT30816 is the right choice for you.