Dream Kitchen EDU — Opportunity for Budding Entrepreneurs
Building a comprehensive food service in the western suburbs
Dream Kitchen — a food service incubator kitchen in Elgin with satellite locations in Lake in the Hills and Schaumburg — is launching a new service to help budding food service entrepreneurs in the Chicagoland area succeed.
President of PKE Enterprises Inc Kevin Echevarria has joined forces with Sybil Ege, formerly of the Elgin Community College Small Business Development Center, and John Richards, a 25-year veteran in Consumer Packaging Group, to create Dream Kitchen EDU.
Students who enroll in Dream Kitchen EDU will work with professionals who have years of experience in the food industry; each specializing in a specific business component. The 16-week program includes:
- Eight weeks of classroom instruction on how to prepare a food service business plan, incorporating eight unique workshops and panel discussions with experts in their field
- Six weeks of practical hands-on experience in the Dream Kitchen. Students will plan and stage a pop-up experience for friends and family to demonstrate their concept and their food
- Two weeks to finalize their business plan and prepare a presentation for potential investors
- Final pitch to potential investors, providing each student a chance to woo would-be funders for precious seed money to launch their business
- Students who complete the program will also have priority access to Dream Kitchen business services, such as branding and website design.
“Too often, people get into a food service business ill-prepared,” Echevarria said. “With the inclusion of the education component, students will have access to a complete ecosystem,” of food service business incubation, he said.
“Individuals wanting to get into food service will have all the weapons they need to start off on the right foot,” Richards said. “Those who want to manufacture a product will learn how to do it properly, and will be able to fast-track their entry into the wholesale arena.”
Dream Kitchen EDU — currently accepting applications for enrollment — will serve entrepreneurs interested in starting a restaurant, a food truck service, a catering service, or a food manufacturing operation, Echevarria said.
“This program is designed for anyone who wants to ensure success in a food service startup business and embark on their journey with a skilled team of professionals on their side,” Echevarria said. Set to begin in August, the classes will be held on the Elgin Community College campus. The program is not eligible for college credits.
In addition to commercial kitchen space, Dream Kitchen also provides marketing and licensing services to their customers. LocalVore, in downtown Elgin, serves as a pop-up restaurant venue for Dream Kitchen customers.
Dream Kitchen EDU, Inc., is a partnership between PKE Enterprises, Ege and Richards. For an overview of the company’s educational offering and for an enrollment package, visit www.dreamkitchenedu.com.