The Artisan Exchange: How To Launch Your Food Business


| 10/22/2018 10:21:00 AM


One of Chester County’s best-kept secrets is the Artisan Exchange. Hidden in a light industrial area in the town of West Chester is the brainchild of Frank Baldassarre. Frank realized the difficulty craft food and beverage makers had in securing a commercial kitchen space at an affordable price and wanted to ease that challenge. Frank and his partners Maryann Baldassarre and Joseph Stratton set about refurbishing the building that formerly housed mushroom houses and later a coffee roaster. When opened in 2013 the Artisan Exchange offered vendors either their very own commercial kitchen nook or a flexible space they could rent out as needed to test a new food product.

Inside the Artisan Exchange

Inside the Artisan Exchange Saturday Market.

Four key areas of support

1. They offer affordable kitchen space and a common sanitization area, thus cutting the cost of needing a cleaning space in each kitchen unit. Business owners get to choose from individual proprietary manufacturing spaces from as little as 130 sq. Ft. up to 3,000 sq. Ft. depending on their needs and budget.

2. Access to a retail market. Each Saturday food business owners that rent kitchen space at Artisan Exchange can sell their goods at the Artisan Market. For a fee of $20-30, the vendors can set up a table and sell hot food, frozen food, or packaged products from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Saturday Artisan Market.



3. Production flexibility with commercial kitchen spaces that can be rented by the hour, day, or month using the online reservation system. Kitchen space is available 24-hours per day and seven days per week. This 24-hour availability helps budding entrepreneurs keep their day job and work during their off-hours in a commercial kitchen.



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