Background: Commonwealth Kitchen (CK), which operates Boston’s only shared-use commercial kitchen and culinary business incubator, currently supports about 40 food entrepreneurs. CK provides access to fully-equipped kitchen facilities for hourly rental on a membership basis combined with technical support, training, oversight, and guidance for wide range of wholesale and retail start-up and emerging food businesses. Since 2009, CK has graduated 28 businesses into a mix of retail, wholesale and contract manufacturing operations, creating well over 300 new permanent jobs.
Legal Need: When CK realized that it needed to fulfill a variety of legal needs in order to fulfill its mission of supporting our local food entrepreneurs, it sought assistance from the Legal Food Hub on questions about tax-deductible charitable gifts, insurance premiums, for-profit and non-profit entity formation, and employment and contract law.
The Relationship: Through the Legal Food Hub, CLF matched CK with several skilled attorneys from Nixon Peabody and Goulston & Storrs to cover all of their legal questions. “CLF’s Legal Food Hub has been an invaluable partner for [Commonwealth Kitchen] and a fantastic resource for the businesses we serve. They’ve connected us with tremendous legal expertise on everything from basic business entity formation and City permitting issues to complex tax and equity investment structuring, and even assistance with hiring and labor issues,” said Executive Director Jen Faigel. “They’re creative and incredibly responsive, and a terrific partner for any small food business who needs any sort of legal help to expand their operations and serve more customers.”