A kitchen with a mission
Mission Kitchen is a new food business incubator in Vauxhall that’s out to change the image of the food industry and to give a leg up to budding new talent in London.
I’ve visited them several times over the past year while researching a piece I recently wrote for The Independent and, each time, I’ve come away with a feeling of not just hope, but of actual positivity for the future of the food industry. The people I’ve met, from the entrepreneurs to the trio running this ambitious project, have so much talent and drive that it’s hard not to feel inspired.
I’ve also been impressed with the fact that of the 32 fledgling food businesses that were selected as founding members, 54 per cent of them set up their businesses during lockdown, and 70 per cent are BAME or female-led.
Here are a few of the people I’ve spoken to about their business goals and dreams, how they got here and where they are going.
Elisha Ovia of Elie & Pie: is on a mission to make “pies without compromise” and “to make people ‘eat happy’.
Chloë Stewart of nibs etc: wants to “design food out of our habits, our language and our food systems”.
Mohammed (Momo) Zard of Momo’s Dairy: wants to stay connected to his family’s Syrian-Palestinian roots through food.
Mission Kitchen is the first food-business incubator in the UK, but the three founders drew inspiration from the likes of Union Kitchen in Washington DC, La Cocina in the San Francisco Bay area and Kitchen Republic in Amsterdam.
These three enterprises have all had success stories to tell – and I suspect that Mission Kitchen will have its own fair share in the years to come too.