Cultivator Kitchen

Our community is known for great dining and amazing food. Our best restaurants are key to attracting visitors to our region—and a crucial part of what makes our area an exciting place to live, work, and play. When new restaurants open or existing restaurants expand their offerings, we give people more reasons to spend time in and support our local businesses.

Our Vision:

Opening or expanding a restaurant is a colossal undertaking. Thankfully, Cultivator Kitchen can help. More than just a test kitchen, the Cultivator Kitchen is where new restaurants are born and expanded. Our support, infrastructure, and education allow restauranteurs to move beyond writing a business plan and start actually testing their ideas in a real setting.

Our Goal:

To develop aspiring restauranteurs into strong managers and business leaders in the food space through on-the-job direct experience, classroom education, and one-on-one coaching support.

Our Programs:

The commercial kitchen at Spark Makerspace in New London, CT is being redeveloped as a cafe space for the Cultivator Kitchen program to utilize for student-restauranteurs to test their ideas through cooking challenge events, pop-up restaurant nights, and longer stints to really test assumptions and see what it is like to try to run a business in an industry with one of the highest failure rates.

We are starting with a series of Grilling Dinner Parties in the outdoor courtyard at Spark on Fridays from 5 – 8pm in September and October.

The Cultivator makes this happen at RD86 – a unique setting for dining without a fixed menu in downtown New London where pop-up restaurant events, cooking challenges, and a rotating daytime cafe menu help to refine concepts, teach people, and build an audience for new businesses to launch. RD86 is located at 86 Golden St.


Hannah Gant

Robert Ramsay

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