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Our Opinion: Lincoln helps cooks kick-start business ideas

September 2, 2021 at 4:05 a.m. | Updated September 2, 2021 at 10:15 a.m.

For Cindy Borgwordt, food safety specialist at Lincoln University, she had a good idea as well as the perseverance to see it through to completion - a process of nearly two decades.

Her dream, as we recently reported, was to create a culinary incubator where LU faculty and staff could rent out the school's commercial kitchen to develop skills and their food-related business ideas.

That dream, stemming back to 2004, is finally becoming a reality thanks to a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in association with Lincoln University.

We like the idea for several reasons. First, entrepreneurs are the backbone of capitalism. They come up with innovative ideas that drive the economy and employ hundreds - sometimes thousands - of employees.

But business - especially the restaurant/food business - is cut-throat, and entrepreneurs don't typically have the time that it took Borgwordt to bring an idea to fruition.

Many also don't have the capital needed to develop new products or services, and banks aren't often willing to take a chance on unproven entrepreneurs.

The culinary incubator offers affordable rates for those accepted.

Culinary incubator members - individuals who been approved to be part of the program to learn food safety training, protocols, etc. - pay a rate of $150 annually, as we reported. A culinary incubator associate - an individual only looking to use the cooking facility - pays a rate of $200 annually. Fees vary for operational hourly rates.

The program also will benefit LU students, particularly those in the Department of Agriculture. It can provide them with food safety certifications and experience in a kitchen without having to have a job in a kitchen.

We commend Borgwordt for seeing her idea through to fruition, and we wish the program much success. If you think the program could benefit you, contact Borgwordt at [email protected]

News Tribune

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helps cooks kick-start business ideas

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