Downtown Battle Creek will soon feature retail space to help start-up food businesses learn the ropes of operating in the retail sphere.

The City of Battle Creek’s Small Business Development Fund says Friday that 80 W. Michigan Ave. is being transformed into what they call a “retail food service incubator” named kiCH(ə)n, which will provide a “lower risk entry point” for those looking to take their business concept to the next level. The 800 square foot unit is currently being remodeled into a “standard café type kitchen” that will accommodate two tenants at once; one will be a café type business, while the other would need to be a producer of products for things including the in-store displays and custom orders.

Those operating in this space will be able to receive counseling and coaching from the Small Business Development Fund Team and other support organizations in the city. When kiCH(ə)n opens up in January 2019, they will host Café Rica, a coffee shop, and Simply Sensational Berries, which creates chocolate covered strawberries and other similar products.

Leases will be limited to one year initially, and then month to month afterwards if the business wants to stay.

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