Share |

CommonWealth Kitchen Inc.

 196 Quincy Street
 Dorchester, MA 02121
[P] (617) 522 7900
[F] --
Jen Faigel
Facebook Twitter
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 27-0648497

LAST UPDATED: 01/04/2019
Organization DBA CommonWealth Kitchen
Former Names CropCircle Kitchen (2009)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

At CommonWealth Kitchen (formerly CropCircle Kitchen), we believe that a resilient and equitable regional economy requires closing Boston's growing wealth divide.  
To realize this vision, we operate greater Boston's only nonprofit food business incubator and food manufacturing social enterprise.  We provide shared kitchens with integrated business assistance to promote inclusive entrepreneurship and create jobs with few barriers to entry, with a focus on people who have been impacted by racial, social, or economic inequality.
In addition, we leverage our commercial kitchen infrastructure to improve healthy food access for low-income families and strengthen our regional food economy.

Mission Statement

At CommonWealth Kitchen (formerly CropCircle Kitchen), we believe that a resilient and equitable regional economy requires closing Boston's growing wealth divide.  
To realize this vision, we operate greater Boston's only nonprofit food business incubator and food manufacturing social enterprise.  We provide shared kitchens with integrated business assistance to promote inclusive entrepreneurship and create jobs with few barriers to entry, with a focus on people who have been impacted by racial, social, or economic inequality.
In addition, we leverage our commercial kitchen infrastructure to improve healthy food access for low-income families and strengthen our regional food economy.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016
Projected Income $1,560,000.00
Projected Expense $1,500,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Employer relations and job creation, training and placement
  • Food Business Incubator & Accelerator Program
  • Small-batch food manufacturing social enterprise

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

At CommonWealth Kitchen (formerly CropCircle Kitchen), we believe that a resilient and equitable regional economy requires closing Boston's growing wealth divide.  
To realize this vision, we operate greater Boston's only nonprofit food business incubator and food manufacturing social enterprise.  We provide shared kitchens with integrated business assistance to promote inclusive entrepreneurship and create jobs with few barriers to entry, with a focus on people who have been impacted by racial, social, or economic inequality.
In addition, we leverage our commercial kitchen infrastructure to improve healthy food access for low-income families and strengthen our regional food economy.

Background Statement

We were proud to be named Best Incubator by Boston Magazine and a Game-Changer by The Boston Globe in 2015.

Impact Statement

With the opening of our flagship commercial kitchen facility in Dorchester in June 2014, CommonWealth Kitchen is in the midst of exponential growth. 
Over the past 24 months, we have doubled the number of member businesses working in our shared kitchens to more than 45, with over 70% owned by women and/or people of color.  These businesses produce a wide range of products- like salsa, hummus, chocolates, jam, cookies, ice cream, juice, plus over a dozen food trucks and caterers.  Combined, our members employ well over 140 people, including over 70% minority and/or women workers.   In just the past year, we launched a new 9-week food business 101 class, a mentoring program, and an HR and finance classes for our members; placed 35+ local residents in jobs on site; and graduated 8 more companies into their own retail or production facilities.
In 2015, we launched our contract manufacturing social enterprise, providing recipe development and small-batch processing to help our members improve manufacturing efficiency as they scale, while turning part-time and seasonal jobs into full employment.  Our new enterprise also creates a much-needed resource for local farms, restaurants, and other producers looking for small-batch production. 
Simultaneously, we expanded our own staffing from 3.5 to 15+ people, and more than tripled our annual budget to $1.5 million, with 50% of our budget coming from earned revenue from our kitchen operations. 
Since our inception in 2009, we have helped start over 200 food companies, graduated 40+ into a mix of retail, wholesale and contract manufacturing businesses that are still in business today- like Roxy's Grilled Cheese, BATCH Ice Cream, McCrea's candies, Chocolate Therapy, Delectable Desires, Clover Food Lab and Voltage Coffee, and created nearly 500 new permanent jobs. 
In 2015, we were proud to be named a Game-Changer by The Boston Globe and Best Incubator by Boston Magazine.

Needs Statement

Despite our exponential growth, we have not had sufficient resources to invest in the organizational infrastructure and systems needed to support this rapidly growing work.  Our most pressing needs are to:
  1. Hire a Director of Finance to play a senior leadership role in managing  finances, tracking an increasingly complex billing process- with 80+ monthly members and contracts, and managing inventory, preventative maintenance contracts, and the like. New salary of @ $90,000/year

  2. Hire a Director of Business Development to focus on building connections to buyers, event planners, and purchasing agents and drive sales opportunities for our companies. This position will also manage partnership with Amazon Fresh, plus burgeoning partnerships with Whole Foods, Target, and Eataly. $85,000/year

  3. Hire a marketing firm to update materials and develop strategy to tell compelling stories of CWK and our 45+ members to drive consumer awareness and demand.  $40,000

  4. Invest in database and software systems needed for inventory tracking, kitchen scheduling, preventative maintenance planning, individual giving, and general business operations. $25,000.

  5. Secure  capital funding for equipment and renovations required to further automate production and provide additional office and meeting space. $600,000.

CEO Statement

CommonWealth Kitchen is creating a ground-breaking, entrepreneurial non-profit social enterprise that builds strong local businesses, creates jobs with few barriers to entry, and encourages asset building and wealth creation in one of the lowest-income neighborhoods of Boston.

We focus on access and opportunity as critical to small business success. We encourage connections, collaboration and knowledge-sharing in all aspects of our work. We integrate a range of wrap-around programs and technical support specific to the food industry, plus direct services such as recipe development and contract manufacturing as part of a vertically-integrated food business incubation model. Our focus is on starting and building great local food companies. Our model of earned income from kitchen operations combined with strategic marketing and branding to drive consumer awareness and sales aligns our member company success with our success.  
Our efforts to maximize our impacts extends to using our contract manufacturing operations to increase healthy food access to low-income and food insecure families and strengthen our regional food economy by providing a range of value-added processing services of local, mostly surplus produce. 
We are building a unique, vertically-integrated social enterprise model with significant potential for scaling and replication.

Board Chair Statement

I have been an enormous fan of the work and mission of CWK since its inception in 2009. I was proud to be an advocate and early funder while working as a Program Officer at The Boston Foundation, and thrilled to join the Board in 2014 and play a leadership role in the rapid growth of this amazing economic development engine for the City and the Commonwealth. 

Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Hyde Park
City of Boston- Jamaica Plain
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Roslindale
City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- West Roxbury
City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)

CommonWealth Kitchen's facilities are based in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. While we do not place restrictions on where people looking to use our kitchens or work for our companies come from, we work primarily with people from Greater Boston area - and prioritize our outreach and marketing for business and job-seekers to people who live in the Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, and Hyde Park neighborhoods of Boston.   

Organization Categories

  1. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Small Business Development
  2. Food, Agriculture & Nutrition - Management & Technical Assistance
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Employer relations and job creation, training and placement

A key feature of our incubator program is supporting member companies in becoming good, capable employers.  We provide HR training and assist in connecting local job seekers into available jobs with our companies.  We do this mostly through strategic partnerships with  programs like Community Servings and NECAT, placing graduates of their culinary training programs.   We also work with Project HOPE to provide soft skills training on customer service and communications.  We directly offer select training ourselves on use of equipment, knife skills, Serv-Safe certification, and safe food handling.  
We recently started discussions with the City of Boston's Office of Financial Empowerment about offering classes on topics like financial literacy, credit repair, earned income tax, ESOL, and homebuying.  These activities are integral to our mission of creating strong businesses and sustainable for local residents facing barriers to employment.  We are proud to say that we are CORI-friendly.
Budget  $75,000.00
Category  Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Adults Minorities Offenders/Ex-Offenders
Program Short-Term Success 
On annual basis, we place @ 25-30 local residents in jobs with our member companies and on our staff.  Most of these placements came through local training programs and involved people who faced barriers to employment. For CWK directly, we hired 2 people from these programs who were homeless when we brought them on, and now have permanent housing because they have a job and we could serve as a formal reference. 
In another case, a person we placed was able to move on to an apprenticeship program with a local trade union despite prior incarceration because we could provide several solid references.  
Program Long-Term Success  We are focused primarily on providing great entry-level jobs for people needing to build a job history and references.  We take graduates from local job training programs and place them with our companies to give them a place to start and a place to grow.  Over time, we want to connect with larger employers, including restaurant groups, food service companies, and institutions who would be interested in hiring and promoting these workers to continue their career advancement.  Our goal is to create a strong pipeline of opportunity to take people who face barriers to employment and put them on a path beyond hourly work and subsistence living, to a career that pays a living wage and offers meaningful opportunities for growth. 
Program Success Monitored By  We survey all of our members on a quarterly basis to collect data on the status of their hiring.  We track full and part-time workers, hourly pay rates, neighborhood residence, minority/woman/immigrant/veteran numbers, and promotions, raises and other changes in employment status. 
Examples of Program Success  CWK hired two staff over the past year who came to us from job training programs while still living in homeless shelters, and one who had a criminal record.  Since coming on staff, we were able to provide evidence of employment and references which allowed each to get into permanent housing. 

Food Business Incubator & Accelerator Program

We operate a fully-equipped commercial kitchen, providing hourly rental to 45+ entrepreneurs on a membership basis, including businesses making  hot sauce, jam, salsa, bagels, cookies, ice cream, juice, and other specialty foods. Our businesses also include food trucks and caterers. Over 70% of our businesses are owned by women and/or people of color.   Combined, they employ 130+ staff, depending on the season.

We provide our entrepreneurs business assistance on recipe development, permitting, labeling, packaging, marketing, distribution and access to capital. We also offer business training in partnership with the Lawyers Committee for Economic Justice, ACCION, Project HOPE, DSNI, The Food Project, Urban Farming Inst., Community Servings, and the Kroc Center/Salvation Army.

Our aggregate purchasing initiative leverages the buying power of our businesses by contracting with several local suppliers to coordinate deliveries and incentivizing greater use of local ingredients.

Budget  $1,500,000.00
Category  Community Development, General/Other Small & Minority Business Development Programs
Population Served Adults Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Minorities
Program Short-Term Success 
Short-term outcomes include: 
Place 20 local residents into jobs on our staff or with our food businesses.
Recruit and start 6 new minority and/or women-owned food businesses in the next 6-12 months.
Attain 60% usage of our kitchens for 2 consecutive months.
Employ at least 130 people during the busy summer months, with at least 1/3 coming from the surrounding neighborhoods. 
Program Long-Term Success 
 Success is measured by the number of businesses who successfully start and build a profitable food business; the number of jobs created; and how our work improves access to healthy food options for low-income and food insecure families.  
Specific measures of success include: maintaining membership levels of at least 51% women-owned and 51% minority-owned businesses working, employing 150 people, of whom, at least 60% are women and/or people of color, and at least 1/3 are residents of the Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan and/or Hyde Park neighborhoods of Boston.  We want to graduate 3-5 businesses into their own retail or wholesale production facilities each year, with 75% of our graduates still in business after 3 years.  
Program Success Monitored By 

CommonWealth Kitchen will be implementing a comprehensive tracking system as a means to efficiently and accurately track and measure outcomes. We also will require our businesses to report back to us on a regular basis.

Examples of Program Success 

Since 2009, we have graduated over 45 businesses into their own retail, wholesale, or contract production facilities that are still in business today, creating more than 450 permanent jobs in the regional food economy.

In 2014 alone, we:
  •  Launched 26 new businesses, for a total of 47 businesses working in our kitchens
  • Graduated 4 businesses into their own retail and wholesale manufacturing facilities

  • Placed 40+ residents of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan in jobs with our businesses;

Small-batch food manufacturing social enterprise

 In 2015, CommonWealth Kitchen launched a new food manufacturing social enterprise.  The initial focus of this work was to help our existing incubator members efficiently scale by aggregating multiple small contracts to create full-time work and investing in automation equipment to increase volumes and improve margins.  We have since expanded our work to include small-batch work for a range of wholesalers, restaurants, institutional customers and farms.  We bottle sauces and beverages, make fresh salsa and hummus, ravioli, granola, and various baked goods. We are piloting a project with the Boston Public Schools to provide healthy breakfast in the classroom using local produce.  Our focus is on supporting our member companies, aggregating contracts to create full-time employment, and supporting efforts that assist minority and women-owned food businesses and improve access to healthy food for low-income families, all while strengthening our regional food economy. 
Budget  $450,000.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food Distribution
Population Served Adults Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 

In the short-term, we aim to:

-prepare and package products for 4-6 of our member companies as they continue to scale; 
- secure contracts with 1 or more institutional partner to process local produce at scale to support local farms while creating a consistent revenue stream to support operations and manage seasonality of our work;  
-pilot work with the Boston Public Schools to provide healthy breakfast in the classroom options
-collaborate with the Boston Area Gleaners to process surplus local produce into shelf-stable products for distribution through food pantries to food low-income families
-provide contract services to farmers and other vendors at the  Boston Public Market
- develop strategic partnerships with 1 or more distributors plus 1 or more retailers looking to increase local sourcing 
Program Long-Term Success 

The Commissary Kitchen's long-term outcomes are to:

  • create jobs by aggregating multiple part-time and intermittent jobs with different food companies and combine them to create full employment opportunities; 

  • help efficiently scale businesses by providing a pool of skilled labor and specialized, large-volume manufacturing equipment at the ready

  • strengthen the regional food economy by providing farmers an opportunity for value-added processing and warehousing


Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  In just the first few months of this program, we processed over 200 cases of local peppers for a hot sauce business; roasted and flash froze 120+ pounds of tomatoes for a local farm for recipe development; peeled and froze 350 cases of organic bananas for a juice company; marinated and slow-cooked 500 pounds of carnitas for a food truck; and prepped ingredients to fill @ 2,000 empanadas for another food truck. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

As we continue to navigate the rapidly changing world of local food, we are constantly looking for the balance between mission, impact, and revenue.  There are no shortage of opportunities for us to use our staff expertise and kitchen infrastructure to offer services to address the growing challenge of food waste, or to improve healthy food access, or support regional farmers.  Our challenge is in finding the balance between projects that meet our mission goals, projects that can and should be handled by other for-profit businesses, and how to fully fund our work.  
We try to maintain reasonable fiscal discipline to take on a balance of high/deep mission projects funded by grants, such as our work with the Boston Area Gleaners to preserve surplus produce into jars of sauce, pickles, jam, etc., against projects that can be fully funded through earned income and perhaps even provide sufficient cash flow to subsidize our mission activities, such as contract processing for local colleges, hospitals or restaurant groups.
Given that we've only been operating our contract  work since August 2015, we feel confident that our progress to date, and focus on assessing impact at each step along the journey can lead us to develop a robust and strategic framework for taking on projects that maximize mission while ensuring our long-term financial viability.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Jen Faigel
CEO Term Start Apr 2014
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Jen helped co-found the organization in 2009, and stepped in as Executive Director in April 2014 to lead the opening of the Dorchester flagship facility. Prior to joining the CWK staff, Jen worked for 5+ years as a real estate and community economic development consultant, and was lead consultant on the $15 million redevelopment of the former Pearl hot dog factory into a multi-tenant food production center. Jen's other clients included Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Codman Sq. NDC, Dorchester Bay EDC, LISC, Lawrence CommunityWorks, the Commonwealth of Mass., and the Hyde Square Task Force.

Previously, Jen was the Real Estate Development Director at the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation for nearly 10 years, where she led development of over 550 affordable homes, and 225,000 SF of commercial space, with a total investment of well over $250,000,000.

Jen is a former Board member of Women in the Building Trades, and a graduate of the inaugural Institute of Non-Profit Management and Leadership program.  
In October 2015, Jen was singled out by the Boston Globe as one of 9 non-profit leaders, "obsessed with making Boston great."

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. JD Kemp Aug 2009 Jan 2014

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Roz Freeman Operations Manager Roz began her career with CommonWealth Kitchen as a volunteer, then an intern, and gradually worked her way up to Operations Manager in 2014. In this role, Roz manages the intake process, educational programs, organizational reporting and hiring/placement work. Roz has a passion for local food and social justice.
Ms. Sherina Hendrix -- --
Mr. Seth Morrison Commissary Manager Seth manages CWK contract manufacturing operations. He is a veteran of the Boston restaurant industry, with 20+ years experience as a sous chef, Executive Chef and restaurant owner.  Seth is HACCP-certified. 
Mr. Colin Roy Kitchen Manager Colin has more than 10 years experience in the food service industry, including in retail, catering and hospitality roles. Colin has a degree in culinary arts. He helped found Roxy's Grilled Cheese Food Truck prior to joining CommonWealth Kitchen in 2014.
Mr. Brad Stevens Executive Chef & Director of Kitchen Operations  

Brad Stevens is responsible for all CommonWealth Kitchen operations. Brad has 35+ years experience in the food service industry, including 20+ years as Executive Chef in fine dining that included a 10-year stint as Corporate Chef for Todd English’s Figs and Olives Restaurants. Brad helped open multiple restaurants around the country. He has worked in nonprofit sector for the last 10 years, including with The Food Project and as Executive Chef at Community Servings. Brad joined CommonWealth Kitchen in 2013.


Award Awarding Organization Year
Non-Profit Innovation SBANE- Smaller Business Association of New England 2016
Best Incubator Boston Magazine 2015
Game-Changer Boston Globe 2015
Power of Ideas Award Boston Magazine 2014


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


CWK works with a wide range of strategic partners to maximze our impact, including:
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice- food biz 101 class and other workshops;
Dudley St Neighborhood Initiative- community engagement
Project HOPE- workforce training
LEAF- business TA
NECAT- job placement
Urban League- job placement
Kroc Center- job placement
Community Servings- job placement
The Food Project- food access/community outreach
Fresh Truck- food access
Boston Area Gleaners- food access 
Urban Farming Inst- food access 
Mass Food Plan- ec dev planning committee
Boston Public Market Association- vendor support & training
UMass Amherst food science program- business technical support and training 
Future Boston/Epicenter Communities- business recruitment and support
ACCION- business finance 
UMASS Boston Small Business Development Center- business finance
Conservation Law Foundation- legal assistance for businesses
Sustainable Business Network of Boston- marketing and outreach 
Harvard Food Law Policy Center- legal support 
Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp/Fairmount- community support
Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams) Brewing the American Dream- marketing, branding, social media, etc support and training
Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center- collaborations on business ops

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

As an active commercial kitchen facility, CWK takes risk management VERY seriously.  With shared kitchens, we must be vigilant about food safety, sanitation, concerns with cross-contamination, etc.  We maintain strong relationships with multiple regulatory agencies, including City and State Health Departments, FDA, and USDA inspectors.  

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 5
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 6
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 90%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 6
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 5
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 8
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit No
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A


Board Chair Ms. Jill Griffin
Board Chair Company Affiliation Massachusetts Gaming Commission
Board Chair Term May 2015 - Apr 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Ona Balkus Harvard University Food Law and Policy Clinic Voting
Ms. Annette Eaton Nixon Peabody NonVoting
Ms. Jen Faigel CommonWealth Kitchen NonVoting
Mr. Drew Fink Fink Family Foundation Voting
Ms. Jill Griffin Mass. Gaming Commission Voting
Mr. Phil Hillman MassHousing- retired Voting
Ms. Victoria Maguire MassDevelopment Voting
Ms. Meg Tallon East Boston YMCA Voting
Mr. Greg Watson Schumacher Center for New Economics Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

With the opening of our new Dorchester facility, which tripled our kitchen capacity, combined with the dramatic growing consumer interest in the local food movement, CommonWealth Kitchen is in the midst of enormous growth. We have more than tripled our staff and budget in less than 3 years, while launching major new initiatives, like our food manufacturing social enterprise and our 9-week food business start-up class. The next 6-12 months will be a critical time for our staff and Board as we work to strengthen capacity at all levels of the organization and formalize systems needed to support this far more complex social enterprise.  We also need to carefully evaluate the impacts and efficacy of our various  programs and initiatives as we work to develop a new strategic plan to direct our work for the next 2-3 years.   Part of this work involves building out our own staff to manage operations. It also means expanding our Board and creating a new Advisory Board to bring together the mix of food, business, marketing, branding, finance, and management professionals needed to help focus our efforts and effectively balance our mission goals  around business development, job creation and food access with the market realities of the local food industry and our capacity to earn revenue to support operations. Our goal is to manage our work such that 80% of our annual budget comes from earned income from kitchen operations while maximizing mission goals, to ensure our long-term organizational sustainability.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $1,311,622 $915,257 $392,608
Total Expenses $1,263,000 $765,626 $522,932

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $72,000
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- $72,000
Individual Contributions $599,112 $540,107 $600
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $706,930 $358,968 $318,029
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $5,580 $16,182 $1,979

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $953,065 $528,849 $348,537
Administration Expense $254,321 $177,015 $154,093
Fundraising Expense $55,614 $59,762 $20,302
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.04 1.20 0.75
Program Expense/Total Expenses 75% 69% 67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 9% 11% 28%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $619,496 $462,455 $189,412
Current Assets $551,868 $359,054 $42,752
Long-Term Liabilities $359,385 $373,297 $379,591
Current Liabilities $320,367 $198,036 $68,330
Total Net Assets $-60,256 $-108,878 $-258,509

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 2.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose Capital funding for automation equipment plus additional kitchen fit-out in our Dorchester facility, and eventual purchase of the building
Campaign Goal $2,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Jan 2016 - Dec 2018
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $325,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 1.72 1.81 0.63

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 58% 81% 200%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Note that after financial challenges in FY13, CWK ended FY 2014 and 2015 with a clean audit and positive cash balances while simultaneously dramatically increasing the total revenue year over year. These increases and stronger financial controls and systems coincide with the hiring of Jen Faigel as Executive Director in mid 2014.  

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

For the FY13, FY12, and FY11 audits, the independent auditors issued a disclaimer of opinion regarding insufficient audit evidence in regards to certain material asset, liability, revenue and expense accounts. Please review the Auditors opinion for further information.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Our goal is to create a model vertically-integrated small business incubator that seamlessly a works with aspiring entrepreneurs from inception to start-up and proof of concept, and on through graduation into their own facilities, with an emphasis on minority and women-owned businesses.  We work in partnership with our members to create a widely recognized family of brands that share a deep mission to community economic development, social justice, asset building and wealth creation.  We provide integrated technical support and partner with a range of community partners to build strong businesses and use our food manufacturing social enterprise to help companies efficiently scale, aggregate multiple part-time jobs into full-time work, and provide small-batch processing services to strengthen our regional food economy such that no one is left hungry and everyone has access to fresh, healthy food. 
Over time, we want to build on the success of each of our member businesses by creating an investment fund, wherein incubator companies invest alongside community members, accredited investors, and others, to create a capital resource and mentoring network for the next generation of companies. 
We want to graduate 4-6 businesses each year into their own  facilities, and create a robust pipeline of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and wholesale businesses to anchor neighborhoods across Boston and the region, creating strong, resilient communities, with active, safe streets, and plentiful local jobs. 
 We want our graduating businesses to leave with the tools, skills, connections, and resources needed to thrive, creating a multiplier effect in creating jobs and investing in the local community. 
We want to create 100's of new jobs, with low barriers to entry, and meaningful career ladders, each year, so that local residents have access and opportunity to permanent, sustainable employment.  
We want to use the skills, knowledge, and equipment available in our kitchens to improve access to fresh, healthy food for low-income families by supporting the work of partners like Fresh Truck and their mobile grocery operation. 
And finally, we want to build our commissary operation to run multiple shifts, 7 days/week, providing small-batch contract manufacturing services to local farmers to maximize local produce consumed throughout the year. 

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Through continuous assessment and evaluation, we are working to build a robust, integrated model of business incubation and technical support services to build strong, profitable local food companies.  We are constantly looking for ways to leverage our skills and infrastructure and forge strategic partnerships that can maximize impacts.  For example, we identified that many of the entrepreneurs that most closely meet our mission goals of supporting women, immigrants, and people of color, were also the businesses that most struggled to get started and build a strong following.  We had offered generalized classes to help with understanding business finance, cash flow, employment tax, social media, and the like, but found that this approach was too often a mismatch for the individual businesses.  To address this, we launched a new 9-week food business 101 class this year to offer a very focused training for new companies to give them the foundation they need to start out with strong business fundamentals.  We now also offer coaching and mentoring so that we can provide our members with more customized support.  For example, we were able to recruit a senior food scientist from Welch's as a volunteer, and he has worked direclty with 3 of our companies on recipe development.  We recruited the owner of a successful packaged food company and the publisher of an online food magazine each to provide office hours so that members can meet to get 1-on-1 advice on marketing and branding issues.
More recently, we have turned some of our focus on building our own organizational brand and reputation as a way to drive interest for our members and their services.  We now have a formal partnership with Amazon through their Amazon Fresh program, and are in active discussions with retailers like Whole Foods, Target, and Eataly on formal collaborations with CWK and our member companies.  

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

As we continue to build our organization to meet our goals, we are always looking to strategically add capacity to provide a breadth of knowledge, experience, and connections. 
Our management staff have extensive experience in non-profit management, finance, communications, restaurant management and operations, food trucks, and catering. Our Board leadership includes professionals with deep experience in economic development, food law and policy, non-profit management, human resources, wealth management, private philanthropy, and food business operations.  
Over the next 12 months, we hope to add an Advisory Board to help expand our connections and reach.  We are focused on recruiting professionals with business operations experience, equity and impact investing backgrounds, marketing and branding expertise, political  connections and relationships, food and small business policy experience, and legal and finance backgrounds. 
These efforts are all aimed at strategically positioning our work at the nexus of food innovation and access, and economic development.  Our aspiration is to create a uniquely integrated food business and innovation model with real options for scaling and replication regionally and nationally. 

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

The nature of our work is very quantitative-- we are regularly tracking business inquiries, business starts, business growth through measures such as gross sales, retail outlets, or meals served, hiring #'s, earned revenue from kitchen operations and contract manufacturing work, graduation numbers, etc.  We set quarterly goals and milestones and regularly assess and seek feedback from our members and strategic partners to help guide our work.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

We have been experiencing exponential organizational growth over the past 2+ years, more than doubling the businesses working, adding multiple new programs such as our food business 101 class, and launching our new food manufacturing social enterprise.  With each improvement and refinement of program and focus, we have seen strong indications of progress and impact, including the tripling of our annual earned income to over $700,000 in 2016, and interest from major new corporate partners, including Amazon, Target, Whole Foods and Eataly.  We have helped open a new cafe space inside a community health center, bringing healthy food options to one of the lowest-income neighborhoods of Boston. We have processed well over 60,000 lbs. of mostly surplus produce into shelf stable products like tomato sauce, pickles, and jam for local farms, restaurants and wholesalers-- or more than 30 tons of raw product. 
We have invested in a range of mid-size automation equipment to help build in more efficiency in our operations and improve bottom line margins for our members and contract manufacturing customers.
Through all of this, we have continuously worked to streamline our operations, leverage our kitchen infrastructure, and maximize impacts through strategic partnerships. At each step, we have attempted to learn and adjust as we continue to build our operation. For example, some early contracts we took on that involved significant amounts of hand processing proved to be a mismatch.  Because we charge by the hour, and pay staff hourly rates that are higher than minimum wage, we found that we could not be competitive when completing detailed work, like hand peeling shallots and carrots.  Where we can be competitive, and take on projects that work for the customer and fully cover our costs are projects where we can use some mechanical equipment to complete portions of the work and process in bulk quantities, such as producing 100 gallons of marinara or BBQ sauce at a time.  These lessons inform how we move forward in marketing our services and recruiting partners and members. 
 In less than 1 year of operating our contract services, we already have more than 25 regular contracts with 2-3 new inquiries/week with limited marketing.  This organic demand for our services is a sure confirmation of the market demand for this type of small-batch, local source food manufacturing.