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The Food Foundry UK

“The loss of any food startup is the loss of part of London’s identity”

27 February 2016 15:00


With up to 9 out of 10 food startups failing, closing their doors within their first year of operation, there
is a huge loss of the expression and culture that they represent. This failure is almost predictable from
their start up. High barriers of entry, high startup costs, lack of training and or experience of working in
the food industry, lack of contacts and supportive networks, unknown costs and factors all increase the
already risks food startups face.
These barriers result in not only the closure of the food startup, but a
loss of their story, passions and identity that defines both them and the locations they influence.
What is needed is a disruptive force for the benefit of food startups. One that lowers the barriers of
entry, minimizes risk and cost, and provides a collaborative and creative community to work within. All
these influences would promote success.
The Food Foundry is here to fill this need.

Says Director and Co-Founder Jay Nguyen “Our goal is to minimize the risks, costs and mistakes faced by
food startups so that they can focus on the most important thing… their food.”
His words are supported by research at Telephonica UK which indicates that start-ups that participate in incubator and
accelerator programmes are more likely to survive than those that don’t.

The first incubator of its kind in London, The Food Foundry provides food startups with a commercial
kitchen and co-working space from which to run their businesses. The greatest benefit however is in the
support given through a structured ‘concept to shelf’ programme to address the major issues that
typically lead to business failure, including lack of exposure and product sales. Unlike traditional startup
incubators, members of The Food Foundry are encouraged to operate within the Food Foundry’s
facilities indefinitely, allowing all companies to grow together, building a community around food,
where food defines culture.

“We at The Food Foundry, are focused on contributing to the communities we want to live in by adding
to their culture, a Culture that is in great part defined by the food we eat Food,” says co-founder and
Director Mason Fantasia.

The Food Foundry’s founding partners, Union Kitchen DC have been hugely successful in Washington
DC, have incubated over 180 businesses (with only 2 failures), created over 450 jobs and driven member
businesses turnover in excess of $40m annually, including sales at retailers such as 'Wholefoods' in Washington DC. Using a similar model and given London’s food diversity, Mason and Jay are confident of a similar success here.

As most new food businesses are started by first time entrepreneurs with little or no business
experience, the Food Foundry will not be short of demand for food entrepreneurs waiting for their help.

-Notes for Editors
For Interview and further comment contact Mason Fantasia:
The Food Foundry UK,
15 Bowling Green Lane, London, EC1R 0BD
Twitter : @thefoodfoundry
Tel: +44 7922 861 671

- The Food Foundry was set up by Jay Nguyen and Mason Fantasia, after flirting with the concept for 4
to 5 months they were given a push after the engineering company they worked for went into
administration. They had initially planned to start their own food businesses and tried to look for an
incubator programme to help them. Frustrated with the lack of support in the UK, they discovered
Union Kitchen DC in the US and negotiated an agreement to bring the concept to London with the full
support, knowledge and experience of Union Kitchen, under The Food Foundry brand.

- Union Kitchen DC have been operating since 2012. More details on Union Kitchen DC can be found on
their website

- The Food Foundry provides a full ‘concept to shelf’ model that gives businesses 24/7 access to a fully
maintained commercial kitchen space (think ‘hot desk for chefs’) for food production and a co-working
space for food entrepreneurs to run their business. Support is provided through a structured and
customized programme of workshops and mentoring, followed up with sales, marketing and distribution
to drive revenue.

- The Food Foundry is currently raising an SEIS investment round to establish additional facilities
throughout London and the UK to build communities around local food. Any interested investors should
contact Mason or Jay on the provided contact details (

- A study commissioned by Telefonica UK suggests that start-ups that participate in incubator and
accelerator programmes are more likely to survive than those that don’t. These businesses are also far
more successful at raising investment capital and they’re also likely to trade more profitably. There are
more than 60 startup programmes operating across the UK, with 36 running just in London.
Interestingly, the majority of incubators are tech focused with very limited support for food startups in

- The Food Foundry is now open for Founding Applicant Members for their first facility. For more information, please email; More news to follow.

The Food Foundry UK, 15 Bowling Green Lanes, London, EC1R 0BD E: W:

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Attached Images

Press Contacts

Mason Fantasia

Co-Founder & Director

Tel: 07922 861 671


About The Food Foundry UK

The Food Foundry is a full 'concept to shelf' food startup incubator based here in London.
Our aim; to lower the barriers of entry for food startups by providing them with the necessary resources and connections to give a Food SME the head start needed to progress into the competitive food industry.

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