Food Commercialization Center to Advance Industry in Cumberland County

A Food Commercialization Center will offer aspiring food industry leaders and entrepreneurs convenient and abundant resources to ensure they can successfully meet their market launch objectives.

The Cumberland County Improvement Authority is partnering with the Cumberland Empowerment Zone Corporation and the City of Bridgeton to develop, own and manage the 27,000 square-foot Food Commercialization Center. The building is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Located in Bridgeton, the Food Commercialization Center is being planned to provide developing companies flex-space and business support programs.  The project is being developed by the Cumberland County Improvement Authority. The Authority will work closely with Rutgers Food Innovation Center, which runs the only Soft Landings Program for food processing in the world, also located in Bridgeton and immediately adjacent to the new Center’s location.

“New and growing food companies will be offered leased space to initiate their commercial scale operations,” Gerard Velazquez, Executive Director of the Improvement Authority explains.  “The new Food Commercialization Center will serve as a business incubation facility where these established or new companies will also be supported by a full complement of services to ready them for facility independence and maximize their growth potential.”

According to Velazquez, resources at this new facility, when completed, will range from processing space, freezer and cold storage, warehousing with loading dock areas to food safety regulation, marketing and sales support.  He added, “Developing companies will better understand the requirements and advantages to locating to an independent industrial space in a stand-alone facility.”

Lou Cooperhouse, director of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center said, “A number of our clients and our graduates at the Food Innovation Center routinely require between 2,000 to 3,000 square feet of space to meet their growing commercialization needs.  In addition, we have a number of domestic and international companies we work with that are looking immediately for this amount of space as they launch their business to serve the U.S. marketplace.”  Cooperhouse says tenants of the new center will also have an opportunity to access business consulting and technical mentoring services of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, that will be located immediately adjacent to this new facility.

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