December 5, 2017
New Covent Garden Market has revealed the first phase of its £130m development which is set to make it London’s dominant food hub. This exchange will be an incubator for the UK’s brightest and most exciting up-and-coming food makers, creators and thinkers. The Food Exchange is a workspace, kitchen space and food culture venue that will form the first stage of the Food Quarter – a vibrant, creative food industry campus and serious food destination – cementing New Covent Garden Market’s position at the epicentre of the London culinary scene. It will also start equating New Covent Garden Market with food, like what Canary Wharf is to finance, and Old Street is to the tech industry.
Totalling 40,000 sq ft of lettable space and spanning three floors and three outdoor roof terraces, the Food Exchange facility is the first of its kind in the UK. It will bring together all species of food entrepreneurs under one roof, giving them a unique place to create, innovate and collaborate. It will house Mission Kitchen, London’s largest and most inspiring shared kitchen, alongside private studios, with space for over 130 businesses working in food. It will also be an exciting food culture destination and a place for Londoners to cook, learn and eat together.
Daniel Tomkinson, CEO of Covent Garden Market Authority, said:
“London is already widely recognised as one of the creative and cultural capitals of the world attracting established and emerging talent from around the globe. The Food Exchange will foster exciting food entrepreneurs and nurture the innovation of new start-ups on the journey to becoming the next big force in London’s food scene. New Covent Garden Market has long been the home of pioneering enterprise and food expertise, making The Food Exchange a very natural next step in the market’s illustrious food story.”
Private studios are ready to rent from 1st February 2018 for all types and sizes of businesses working in food, including food magazines, photographers, producers, PR agencies, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, startups, recipe developers, stylists, writers and more in the array of stylish offices. The building will house a unique and incomparable community of the food industry’s movers and shakers, who will be able to thrive on and benefit from new connections and a vibrant creative atmosphere.
At the heart of this exciting project, Covent Garden Market Authority is partnering with Mission Kitchen to deliver a unique shared kitchen space and co-working space for London’s small and ambitious food makers. Mission Kitchen is bringing the concept of co-working to London’s food sector, launching shared and private kitchens for food start-ups, desk space, events and training. It will answer citywide demand from London’s fledgling food entrepreneurs for affordable and accessible kitchen space, professional equipment, inspiration and support. Mission Kitchen at the Food Exchange will also include a cookery school for ambitious cooks and professionals, an evolving food museum, a test kitchen, while outside space can host anything from beehives to polytunnels for growing. Mission Kitchen is due to open its doors in autumn 2018.
The building will also house event and meeting space, as well being on the doorstep of the historic New Covent Garden Market which is home to 175 food and flower businesses and already supplies 40% of the fruit and vegetables eaten out of home in London. It will become a centre for food education and culture with regular classes, talks, exhibitions, tastings and supper clubs from some of the most fascinating and sought-after names in food, celebrating London’s world-beating food culture and the wonderful produce found at New Covent Garden Market. Finally, when the Food Quarter vision comes towards full fruition in 2024, the building will the home of independent restaurants, cafes and food shops.
New Covent Garden Market’s traders supply all 20 of London’s top restaurants, as well as cafés, schools and businesses. Its restaurant customers include Galvin Restaurants, Brunswick House, Rabbit and Lamberts as well as market stall holders, schools, hospitals, the Houses of Parliament and even London Zoo.
To find out more about the Food Exchange visit www.foodexchange.london.