Category Archives: Crop Circle Series

The Crop Circle Chronicles: Part 2

FunnySquareLast time, we visited the kitchen with Chica de Gallo as our host, where the conversation circled around avocados, limes, and mouth-searing peppers. For our second go-around at the Crop Circle communal kitchen space in Jamaica Plain, things were a little more sweet than spicy.

We arrived at 9pm on a chilly Thursday last week, while the Roxy’s crew was wrapping up for the night and members of the Nola’s Fresh team were sticking labels on salsa tubs. We’d barely said our hellos to hosts Russ & Shari of Apotheker’s Chocolate before they were offering us nibbles off a broken bar of their Cashew & Sea Salt chocolate—the first of many such generosities to come. Continue reading

The Crop Circle Chronicles: Part 1

tomatilloSQUAREThe local food movement is so ubiquitous these days, even brands like Welch’s have worked American farmers into their ad campaigns. With a trend that so vastly alters our edible landscape, it’s no wonder you see food start-ups appearing around every turn (as a buyer at AP, keeping track of all these exciting newbies can consume entire work days).

But it’s certainly a gamble, and for every micro-batch granola company or backyard apiary that breaks even, there are several that struggle to barely turn a profit. High cost is no stranger in the average gourmet shop, but when an aspiring entrepreneur is juggling the price of cooking supplies, facilities, packaging, marketing, staffing and more, sometimes no amount of return on these investments can pull them out of the red.

A bleak situation, but not one without hope. Enter Crop Circle Kitchen, a Boston-based communal kitchen & business incubator the likes of which are appearing across the country. The concept is simple—small-batch hot sauce chefs, chocolatiers and food trucks work side-by-side in a cooperative space, rubbing elbows and sharing costs to make a dent in one of the most expensive aspects of a food start-up—the kitchen. Continue reading