Brooklyn food manufacturers squeezed for space

October 28, 2013 12:48PM

Brooklyn food manufacturing is expanding like a well-made souffle, but the industry is missing one key ingredient: space. About 38 percent of the borough’s manufacturers – many of which have taken space in shared commercial kitchens or food incubators – have had to leave the borough to rent additional manufacturing space, according to a survey released by City Council Member Stephen Levin, who is based in Brooklyn.

Nearly 70 percent find their growth restricted by the limited production capacities at their manufacturing facilities in the borough, the survey found.

“There is such a strong desire to keep manufacturing in Brooklyn, but for people who are running these businesses it’s next to impossible once you get past your little startup phase,” Chris Woehrle, the co-owner of Kings County Jerky Co., told the Wall Street Journal.

The desire to stay in Brooklyn is very high, the survey found, with 60 percent of respondents saying that it was “of significance” that their production facility be in the borough, according to the Journal. The manufacturers are brainstorming solutions for the space shortage, including pulling in the New York City Economic Development Corporation to help co-develop a shared manufacturing space, according to the Journal.

“Food manufacturing is the fastest-growing of all the subsectors of manufacturing, and we look forward to continuing to find ways in which we can strengthen this critical piece of the city’s economy,” a spokesperson for the EDC told the newspaper. [WSJ]  – Hiten Samtani