The questioner and mirror
(July 25, 2022) ReMain Nantucket has acquired 5 Amelia Drive, the former Keepers Restaurant, as the site for a business incubator and community kitchen, the nonprofit announced today.
ReMain will work with Nantucket entrepreneur Karen Macumber to create a food business incubator and community kitchen business in the space. Macumber and a team of consultants will run the food incubator to help local producers build regional and national businesses.
The purchase price was not immediately available.
According to a press release, ReMain plans to create a shared food production facility that will allow multiple food companies to operate from fully licensed commercial kitchens.
Food producers on the island are currently facing numerous challenges, including access to stable commercial kitchens all year round. The new company will provide greater affordability for small and medium-sized businesses, provide access to bulk orders of sustainable products and packaging, and provide the convenience of a central operator to manage and maintain a clean, safe, and fully compliant kitchen.
“Throughout its history, Nantucket has embodied the spirit of resilience, and today, as we work towards a sustainable future, we look for ways to support a vibrant, local food system,” said Wendy Schmidt, founder of ReMain, in the press release.
“The Amelia Drive property will provide space and camaraderie for small businesses across Nantucket to play a role in an expanding local and regional food system. We hope that through our work and investments in many ways, we can inspire communities across the country to rethink the way we produce, distribute and share food.”
“ReMain has hoped for years to open a facility like this,” said Cecil Barron Jensen, Executive Director of ReMain. “The building at 5 Amelia Drive appears to be the best option and we are thrilled to be working with Karen to help her build a business that strengthens our island’s food systems while supporting producers and farmers from across the region. “
Working with local officials, ReMain will spend the next few months developing the concept and uses for the facility, while the consulting team continues to refine the programming. Advisors include James Griffin, Professor at Johnson & Wales University’s College of Hospitality Management, and local restaurateurs and previous building owners Mark and Anne Dawson.
“Karen and I see a path forward that has several potential uses, including a food business incubator, a community resource center and think tank, and a small-scale food processing plant,” Griffin said. “We also want to create a home for ongoing market research that informs about improving the local and regional food system and opens up opportunities for education and mentoring.”
“We have loved leading Fog Island and Keepers for the past three decades and are excited to see what ReMain will do for the next chapter at 5 Amelia Drive,” said Mark Dawson. “We’ve seen ReMain supporting innovative food businesses on Nantucket, and so do we. We’re excited to see that they are envisioning a shared use of the building. We are thrilled that they will be the next steward of the property and look forward to helping them advance their mission.