PLATINUM2024

CommonWealth Kitchen Inc.

food is our passion; equity is our mission

aka CommonWealth Kitchen   |   Dorchester, MA   |  www.commonwealthkitchen.org
GuideStar Charity Check

CommonWealth Kitchen Inc.

EIN: 27-0648497


Mission

CommonWealth Kitchen leverages the universal power of food to promote equity, opportunity and resilience. CWK creates powerful opportunities for women, immigrants and people of color to start and grow successful food businesses, develops sales outlets for value added products made from surplus and B grade produce, helps get these products to the food insecure, all while generating earned income to sustain operations and support its mission. Guided by a relentless commitment to equity, CWK envisions a sustainable, inclusive food economy where the opportunity to build a business or purchase healthy food is not dependent on one’s race, ethnicity, gender or zip code.

Ruling year info

2011

Executive Director

Ms. Jen Faigel

Main address

196 Quincy Street

Dorchester, MA 02121 USA

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Formerly known as

CropCircle Kitchen

EIN

27-0648497

Subject area info

Agriculture, fishing and forestry

Entrepreneurship

Food aid

Population served info

Adults

Women and girls

Ethnic and racial groups

Low-income people

NTEE code info

Management Services for Small Business/Entrepreneurs (S43)

Management & Technical Assistance (K02)

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Food Business Incubator & Accelerator Program

CWK recognizes the importance of investing in the human, social and financial capital behind each small business. No matter how great an idea might be, if a business owner does not have strong business fundamentals, solid technical knowledge, and a wide range of industry networks, he or she will likely not achieve sustained success. To change this trajectory, CWK’s comprehensive, systems-based model offers wrap around, tailored technical support, access to a range of retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer markets, opportunities for real world retail experience and assistance with accessing capital.

CWK serves a vibrant and diverse community. On any given day, individuals representing a myriad of different backgrounds and cultures, from recent West African and Caribbean immigrants, to a Boston police officer who grew up in Dorchester, share the communal table/workspace in CWK’s kitchen. Women, people of color or immigrants own approximately 75% of CWK’s more than 50 member businesses.

To maximize organizational impact, CWK requires that all member businesses prioritize hiring individuals from the largely low income neighborhoods surrounding its Dorchester location, including those who face barriers to employment. In 2017, more than one third of the 150 positions with member businesses were held by low income local residents, including more than 20 graduates of job training programs.

Population(s) Served
Adults

CWK is one of a handful of kitchen incubators with small batch manufacturing capabilities, and the only one with HACCP-certified chefs, a trained production staff, an SQF certified production facility, and a robust network of suppliers and customers that includes local farms, distributors, universities, hospitals and businesses. CWK began building its small batch manufacturing expertise in 2015 as a way to support emerging member businesses. CWK would take over production, freeing emerging business owners to focus on sales and marketing. Since then, CWK has expanded production to include a variety of local products, many of which are made with B grade or surplus produce, for institutional and retail markets.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Best Incubator 2015

Boston Magazine

Game-Changer 2015

Boston Globe

Non-Profit Innovation 2016

SBANE- Smaller Business Association of New England

Power of Ideas Award 2014

Boston Magazine

Best Community Catalyst 2021

Boston Magazine Power 50

Race, Equity and Business 2022

Boston Business Journal

Community Leadership 2022

Eastern Bank

non-profit leader to watch 2018

Boston Globe

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of hours of training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Food Business Incubator & Accelerator Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CWK's goal is to create a model for vertically-integrated small business incubator/accelerator that seamlessly a works with aspiring entrepreneurs from inception to start-up and proof of concept, and on through graduation into their own facilities, with an emphasis on minority and women-owned businesses. We work in partnership with our members to create a widely recognized family of brands that share a deep mission to community economic development, social justice, asset building and wealth creation. We provide integrated technical support and partner with a range of community partners to build strong businesses and use our food manufacturing social enterprise to help companies efficiently scale, aggregate multiple part-time jobs into full-time work, and provide small-batch processing services to strengthen our regional food economy such that no one is left hungry and everyone has access to fresh, healthy food. Over time, we want to build on the success of each of our member businesses by creating an investment fund, wherein incubator companies invest alongside community members, accredited investors, and others, to create a capital resource and mentoring network for the next generation of companies. We want to graduate 4-6 businesses each year into their own facilities, and create a robust pipeline of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and wholesale businesses to anchor neighborhoods across Boston and the region, creating strong, resilient communities, with active, safe streets, and plentiful local jobs. We want our graduating businesses to leave with the tools, skills, connections, and resources needed to thrive, creating a multiplier effect in creating jobs and investing in the local community. We want to create 100's of new jobs, with low barriers to entry, and meaningful career ladders, each year, so that local residents have access and opportunity to permanent, sustainable employment. We want to use the skills, knowledge, and equipment available in our kitchens to improve access to fresh, healthy food for low-income families by supporting the work of partners like Fresh Truck and their mobile grocery operation. And finally, we want to build our commissary operation to run multiple shifts, 7 days/week, providing small-batch contract manufacturing services to local farmers to maximize local produce consumed throughout the year.

Through continuous assessment and evaluation, we are working to build a robust, integrated model of business incubation and technical support services to build strong, profitable local food companies. We are constantly looking for ways to leverage our skills and infrastructure and forge strategic partnerships that can maximize impacts. For example, we identified that many of the entrepreneurs that most closely meet our mission goals of supporting women, immigrants, and people of color, were also the businesses that most struggled to get started and build a strong following. We had offered generalized classes to help with understanding business finance, cash flow, employment tax, social media, and the like, but found that this approach was too often a mismatch for the individual businesses. To address this, we launched a new 9-week food business 101 class this year to offer a very focused training for new companies to give them the foundation they need to start out with strong business fundamentals. We now also offer coaching and mentoring so that we can provide our members with more customized support. For example, we were able to recruit a senior food scientist from Welch's as a volunteer, and he has worked direclty with 3 of our companies on recipe development. We recruited the owner of a successful packaged food company and the publisher of an online food magazine each to provide office hours so that members can meet to get 1-on-1 advice on marketing and branding issues. More recently, we have turned some of our focus on building our own organizational brand and reputation as a way to drive interest for our members and their services. We now have a formal partnership with Amazon through their Amazon Fresh program, and are in active discussions with retailers like Whole Foods, Target, and Eataly on formal collaborations with CWK and our member companies.

As we continue to build our organization to meet our goals, we are always looking to strategically add capacity to provide a breadth of knowledge, experience, and connections. Our management staff have extensive experience in non-profit management, finance, communications, restaurant management and operations, food trucks, and catering. Our Board leadership includes professionals with deep experience in economic development, food law and policy, non-profit management, human resources, wealth management, private philanthropy, and food business operations. Over the next 12 months, we hope to add an Advisory Board to help expand our connections and reach. We are focused on recruiting professionals with business operations experience, equity and impact investing backgrounds, marketing and branding expertise, political connections and relationships, food and small business policy experience, and legal and finance backgrounds. These efforts are all aimed at strategically positioning our work at the nexus of food innovation and access, and economic development. Our aspiration is to create a uniquely integrated food business and innovation model with real options for scaling and replication regionally and nationally.

We have been experiencing exponential organizational growth over the past 2+ years, more than doubling the businesses working, adding multiple new programs such as our food business 101 class, and launching our new food manufacturing social enterprise. With each improvement and refinement of program and focus, we have seen strong indications of progress and impact, including the tripling of our annual earned income to over $700,000 in 2016, and interest from major new corporate partners, including Amazon, Target, Whole Foods and Eataly. We have helped open a new cafe space inside a community health center, bringing healthy food options to one of the lowest-income neighborhoods of Boston. We have processed well over 60,000 lbs. of mostly surplus produce into shelf stable products like tomato sauce, pickles, and jam for local farms, restaurants and wholesalers-- or more than 30 tons of raw product. We have invested in a range of mid-size automation equipment to help build in more efficiency in our operations and improve bottom line margins for our members and contract manufacturing customers. Through all of this, we have continuously worked to streamline our operations, leverage our kitchen infrastructure, and maximize impacts through strategic partnerships. At each step, we have attempted to learn and adjust as we continue to build our operation. For example, some early contracts we took on that involved significant amounts of hand processing proved to be a mismatch. Because we charge by the hour, and pay staff hourly rates that are higher than minimum wage, we found that we could not be competitive when completing detailed work, like hand peeling shallots and carrots. Where we can be competitive, and take on projects that work for the customer and fully cover our costs are projects where we can use some mechanical equipment to complete portions of the work and process in bulk quantities, such as producing 100 gallons of marinara or BBQ sauce at a time. These lessons inform how we move forward in marketing our services and recruiting partners and members. In less than 1 year of operating our contract services, we already have more than 25 regular contracts with 2-3 new inquiries/week with limited marketing. This organic demand for our services is a sure confirmation of the market demand for this type of small-batch, local source food manufacturing.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

CommonWealth Kitchen Inc.
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

0.86

Average of 1.81 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

16.5

Average of 5.3 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

11%

Average of 13% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

CommonWealth Kitchen Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

CommonWealth Kitchen Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

CommonWealth Kitchen Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of CommonWealth Kitchen Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $230,615 -$117,123 $782,754 $1,488,125 $347,543
As % of expenses 10.8% -4.5% 22.4% 39.6% 7.7%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $150,009 -$218,104 $675,286 $1,374,165 $144,713
As % of expenses 6.8% -8.1% 18.8% 35.5% 3.1%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $2,528,580 $2,916,415 $4,937,694 $6,037,848 $6,158,678
Total revenue, % change over prior year -7.1% 15.3% 69.3% 22.3% 2.0%
Program services revenue 36.4% 32.4% 20.4% 20.4% 23.6%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 61.3% 66.3% 78.9% 70.5% 63.0%
Other revenue 2.4% 1.3% 0.8% 9.1% 13.4%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $2,133,335 $2,590,569 $3,491,586 $3,755,249 $4,518,929
Total expenses, % change over prior year 6.6% 21.4% 34.8% 7.6% 20.3%
Personnel 48.9% 52.2% 57.1% 41.5% 31.5%
Professional fees 6.1% 6.8% 18.8% 31.9% 19.3%
Occupancy 16.2% 16.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 3.8%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 28.7% 24.5% 24.1% 26.6% 45.4%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $2,213,941 $2,691,550 $3,599,054 $3,869,209 $4,721,759
One month of savings $177,778 $215,881 $290,966 $312,937 $376,577
Debt principal payment $84,000 $0 $0 $248,400 $0
Fixed asset additions $145,040 $0 $0 $0 $7,366,256
Total full costs (estimated) $2,620,759 $2,907,431 $3,890,020 $4,430,546 $12,464,592

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 3.4 2.8 8.9 12.1 16.5
Months of cash and investments 3.4 2.8 9.0 12.3 16.6
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.7 0.4 4.8 8.2 -12.1
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $598,515 $601,928 $2,578,409 $3,775,626 $6,196,354
Investments $0 $0 $26,290 $62,409 $53,824
Receivables $411,941 $606,002 $808,316 $1,352,747 $644,572
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $636,070 $731,999 $761,697 $834,393 $8,200,649
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 25.2% 35.7% 48.4% 57.8% 8.4%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 16.8% 16.1% 25.0% 14.1% 53.5%
Unrestricted net assets $780,376 $562,272 $1,536,892 $2,911,057 $2,955,770
Temporarily restricted net assets $481,730 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $481,730 $933,260 $1,365,833 $2,272,183 $3,794,372
Total net assets $1,262,106 $1,495,532 $2,902,725 $5,183,240 $6,750,142

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No Yes No No

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Ms. Jen Faigel

Jen Faigel has served as CWK's Executive Director since 2014. Under Jen's leadership, CWK has more than quadrupled in size and impact, and received numerous accolades for its entrepreneurial approach, including being named a Gamechanger by the Boston Globe, and Best Incubator AND Best Community Catalyst by Boston Magazine. Previously, Jen spent 20+ years doing mission-based real estate and community economic development work throughout greater Boston, including 9+ years as Real Estate Director at the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp., where she managed over $250M of affordable housing and commercial real estate development. Ms. Faigel has been named one of Boston Globe’s nonprofit leaders to watch, and a Power 50 and Race, Equity and Business awardee by the Boston Business Journal. She is a Barr Foundation Fellow, and serves on the national board of AEO, the CDFA Food Finance Council, and Boards of Mass. Coalition for an Equitable Economy & Tufts Food Innovation Inst.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

CommonWealth Kitchen Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

CommonWealth Kitchen Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/29/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ms. Lesley Hawkins

Prince Lobel

Term: 2022 -

Jen Faigel

CWK

Sheldon Lloyd

CityFresh Foods

Lesley Delaney Hawkins

Prince Lobel

Helene Solomon

Solomon McCown

Magnolia Contreras

Dana Farber Institute

Jason Allen

Mass Mutual

Raul Fernandez

Boston University, Amplify LatinX

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/29/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/11/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Contractors

Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.