Milwaukee's first incubator kitchen.
We are dedicated to uplifting Milwaukee’s urban landscape by providing the community with both opportunity and nourishment. It’s no secret that the Milwaukee neighborhoods most in need of attention appear to be given the least. That’s why we embrace the challenge of transforming our beloved communities one recipe at a time.
UpStart Kitchen began with a question among leaders from Parklawn Assembly of God Church: How can we do better together for our city? The answer: We can lean upon our faith and serve people by offering fresh opportunity where once there was none, and uniting our community under a shared vision that unites people around launching culinary entrepreneurs. An initiative of PRISM EDC, UpStart Kitchen aims to be a hub of positivity in Milwaukee’s resilient Sherman Park community.
UpStart Kitchen will be a food business incubator that caters to entrepreneurs—to doers and dreamers—who have a passion for their niche in the culinary world but lack a certified professional kitchen to help bring their idea to life. We offer shared kitchen space—as well as resources, training, mentoring, and community—to help launch dreams and create generational wealth in Milwaukee.
After the 2016 civil disturbances in Sherman Park, Church leaders of Parklawn Assembly of God Church saw firsthand the community’s frustration with high unemployment and lack of living wage jobs for African-American men. While there were many would-be entrepreneurs with big dreams, they lacked the resources, networking opportunities and the support systems that are necessary for getting a business off the ground. With this in mind, PRISM EDC set out to develop Upstart Kitchen (“UpStart”) as its seminal project.
COVID-19 Emergency Meals Program
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted PRISM and UpStart to consider new ways to leverage UpStart Kitchen in service to the community. Since March 2020, kitchen staff and volunteers have prepared and delivered meals to local organizations and churches that serve families facing food insecurity during these difficult times. UpStart Kitchen is currently preparing nearly 8,000 meals a month.