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Updated: October 2, 2023

What's cooking in Skowhegan: A shared community kitchen and business incubator by late 2024

Building renderings Courtesy / Main Street Skowhegan A shared community kitchen and business incubator is planned for 185 Water St. in Skowhegan, as shown in these early renderings.

Main Street Skowhegan has cooked up plans for a shared community kitchen and business incubator, set to open in late 2024.

Likened to South Portland’s Fork Food Lab, the Skowhegan version would be based at 185 Water St., in a historic downtown building that would be renovated.

Months after receiving a $195,000 grant this spring from Maine Technology Institute, the project was awarded a $49,940 Hometown Grant set to be formally presented by T-Mobile this week.

Since the program’s start more than a decade ago, T-Mobile has given more than $10 million to 225 localities across 42 states for vital community development projects.

Kristina Cannon
File Photo / Tim Greenway
Kristina Cannon

"We couldn't be more grateful to receive such resounding support from T-Mobile for our shared kitchen and food hall project,” said Kristina Cannon, Main Street Skowhegan’s president and CEO. "Their commitment to small town revitalization mirrors our passion for the Skowhegan community, and we are so thrilled to move this project forward with the help of these funds."

Cannon, who was honored on the Mainebiz Next List in 2019, said her organization is working with the building's owner, Eli Soll, to redevelop the space.

Patric Moore, business relations manager for the Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship, said the planned facility comes amid the town’s emergence as a food and agriculture hub, anchored by businesses including Maine Grains, the Bankery and Crooked Face Creamery.

“Through my work at Main Street Skowhegan, I’ve been noticing an uptick in aspiring entrepreneurs stepping into the food and beverage industry,” he told Mainebiz. “As a way to help foster these types of business, we believe a shared kitchen could have a large impact in the growth and development for business partners and entrepreneurs.”

While the project is still at an early stage, plans are already in place of where the kitchen will be amid discussions with a local developer, Moore said. In the meantime, Main Street Skowhegan is conducting a survey to gain a better understanding of what potential users of the facility would want and need.

Main Street Skowhegan staff have also been in talks with Fork Food Lab, the nonprofit shared commercial kitchen and business incubator that recently moved to a larger facility in South Portland, and the people that run the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.

“We’re still generating ideas on what we really want to focus on,” Moore said. Besides creating a space for entrepreneurs, other possibilities include programs to address food insecurity or focused on workforce development, he said.

Close to a dozen survey responses have come in so far, and Moore said the survey will be open for the next few months to get as much feedback as possible from potential users to get a better understanding of their needs in terms of equipment, hours of operation, business development classes and other potential opportunities.

Main Street Skowhegan also continues to raise funds for the project, whose cost has not been disclosed.


Potential users of the facility can complete the survey here.

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