PROVIDENCE, RI -- Something new and fresh is always cooking up at Hope & Main’s kitchens.

Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, joined Hope & Main, state and local leaders, and members of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation for the ribbon cutting of the new Downtown Makers Marketplace.

The Downtown Makers Marketplace is a combined urban eatery and local market.  Visitors can purchase hand-crafted and locally sourced made-to-order items, grab-and-go hot and cold foods, coffee, tea, and crafted-beverages, corporate catering, plus a curated selection of Hope & Main members’ products and prepared foods.

Hope & Main Downtown Makers Marketplace is dedicated to showcasing the incubator’s emerging and established member businesses.

Since it opened its first test kitchen in Warren nine years ago with the help of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan, Hope & Main has launched more than 450 food businesses. This new project will provide a diverse community of food entrepreneurs with access to markets and consumers they could not otherwise reach; and consumers will discover products they cannot find anywhere else.

Over the last two years, Senator Reed has delivered $402,000 in federal earmarks to help Hope & Main expand its reach and finance a future project known as West End Kitchens, which will be located just down the street from the Downtown Makers Marketplace at 945 Westminster Street.  Once it is open, the West End Kitchens facility will provide commercial kitchen space to more food businesses, who will then be able to sell their products at the Downtown Makers Marketplace.

“Hope & Main offers new and emerging food entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow their businesses and strengthen our local economy.  It helps food entrepreneurs scale up their ideas and overcome hurdles to get their locally-sourced products on menus and grocery store shelves.  I will continue working to bring home federal dollars to support Rhode Island’s small businesses and locally-driven economic development priorities,” said Senator Reed.

Since 2015, Senator Reed has led efforts to secure over $1.7 million in federal investments to support Hope & Main’s efforts to empower local entrepreneurs and grow Rhode Island’s food economy.