The Worcester Regional Food Hub operated by Worcester County Food Bank continues to expand its three-tiered mission to enhance food producer and consumer networks, targeted workforce development programs, and small business incubation.
Launched in 2016, the Food Hub partially operates as a Commercial Kitchen Incubator. The facility located at the Worcester County Food Bank on 474 Boston Turnpike Road in Shrewsbury provides a regulated commercial kitchen, culinary training, and planning assistance to support the development of food businesses by farmers, caterers, and other food entrepreneurs looking to start or grow an existing business.
The Food Hub kitchen has yielded products ranging from local jellies and pickles to organic granola, baked confections, and culturally specific foods. Program participants are local business-owners based in Central Massachusetts and range in entrepreneurial experience from 0-5 years. Most tenants are currently selling direct to customers with the goal of reaching wholesale markets within the coming year.
Hired in 2016, Neil Rogers serves as kitchen operations manager at the Food Hub. A Shrewsbury native, he draws upon 22 years of experience in restaurant kitchens in New England. Most recently, Neil served as the executive chef de cuisine for Niche Hospitality Group in Central Massachusetts. Prior to that role, Rogers held positions as executive chef for Tomasso Trattoria and Enoteca/Panzano Market in Southborough; regional manager for Texas-based Love Shack celebrity restaurant group; and as chef de cuisine for Max’s Oyster Bar/Trumbull Kitchen/ Max’s Tavern in Hartford, Conn. and Springfield. He was chosen as one of the Chamber’s 2016-17 leadership development program participants. He also was honored as Worcester’s Best Chef by Foodies of New England in 2014, and as a 2015 Worcester Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient.
Rogers manages day-to-day operations of the Commercial Kitchen Incubator program of the Worcester County Food Bank. Neil is the primary point of contact for tenants, taking them from an intake process through to producing their food products in a licensed commercial kitchen. Additionally, Rogers provides onsite assistance to support the development of food businesses by farmers, caterers, and other food entrepreneurs looking to start or grow an existing enterprise.
Email Neil at: firstname.lastname@example.org