Opening a food station in Tempe’s Marina Heights complex, Foodworks brings to the metro Phoenix area its restaurant incubator concept.
A newly formed division of Compass Group/Eurest Division, Foodworks establishes food stations in prime locations in office buildings and other Eurest-operated dining venues. It then partners with woman- and minority-owned businesses and neighborhood restaurants, offering them the space, technology and equipment, along with expertise and advice that ranges from what to sell and which products will be most successful to marketing. The restaurants rotate in the space, usually on a weekly basis, with an opportunity to come back as often as they like.
There will be four restaurants, initially, operating out of Foodworks’ Marina Heights station, serving breakfast and lunch five days a week. They include family-owned Chon Thai Food; Made in Argentina, a one-woman empanada maker; It’s All Greek To Me, a modern Greek spot in Tempe; and Bowls & Rolls+Smoothies by BodyFuel Foods, a purveyor of healthy prepared meals.
“They can stay and remain a partner of Foodworks as long as they’d like. We’d like to open up the door for them, and want to introduce these folks to many new locations and create opportunities for additional revenue flow,” explains a Foodworks spokesperson. “Foodworks also helps them expand their reach and presence throughout the community, without opening a new brick-and-mortar restaurant.”
Foodworks is committed to quality, sustainability and community involvement, and seeks partners who share those values. “We do a vetting process of all entrepreneurs that we discover by word-of-mouth and any connections. We look for the local up-and-coming chefs, [businesses] that are minority- and woman-owned, as well as how long they have been in the community.”
Foodworks also partners with culinary schools to give students internship opportunities in its cafés.