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Economy

The Commissary, a downtown kitchen incubator, looks to expand

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The Commissary in Sibley Square, operated by the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, is growing. The facility, which helps start-up food businesses, opened last fall when the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing.

Laura Fox O’Sullivan, president of The Commissary, said they persevered, and now the downtown facility has attracted 43 member businesses to the incubator.

She noted that 57% of the businesses are minority-owned and 52% are owned by women.

“It is core to our mission that the commissary supports entrepreneurship, for people who have fewer advantages, and who traditionally, business ownership would be too difficult of a barrier to overcome,” Fox O’Sullivan said.

The Commissary has benefited from state and federal funding and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) along a number of other officials gathered in Sibley Square to mark the expansion of The Commissary.

RDDC officials said that The Commissary is also seeking additional funding to boost its incubation services for food-based startup companies.

The project is adjacent to The Mercantile on Main, the food hall operated by the Winn Companies within the Sibley Square atrium.