The Food Hub is a collaborative effort between the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Environmental Council of Central Massachusetts (REC) made possible by the generous support of the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts. The Food Hub Kitchen, located at the Worcester County Food Bank on Route 9 in Shrewsbury, offers budding and start-up food entrepreneurs access to a permitted and equipped commercial kitchen facility.
A Shrewsbury native, Rogers brings with him more than 20 years of experience in restaurant kitchens in New England and beyond. Most recently, Neil served as the executive chef de cuisine for Niche Hospitality Group in Central Massachusetts. Prior to that role, Rogers held positions as executive chef for Volturno Pizza Napoletana in Worcester; Tomasso Trattoria and Enoteca/Panzano Market in Southborough; regional manager for Texas-based Love Shack celebrity restaurant group; and as chef de cuisine for Max’s Oyster Bar/Trumbull Kitchen/ Max’s Tavern in Hartford, Conn. and Springfield. He was chosen as one of the participants in the Chamber’s 2016-17 Leadership Worcester class, a program to further develop up and coming community leaders and grooming them as the next generation to help shape the future of Central Mass. communities. Past honors include Worcester’s Best Chef 2014 presented by Foodies of New England and a 40 Under 40 recipient by the Worcester Business Journal in 2015.
“I look forward to this next chapter in my professional career and assisting budding entrepreneurs and start-ups get their food businesses off the ground,” Rogers said. “This is also an opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to me, and to help strengthen and grow the food economy in Central Massachusetts. I see great potential in this project and working closely with the Chamber and REC to create opportunities for tenants who are striving to reach a goal and success.”
In this new role, Rogers will manage day-to-day operations of the Commercial Kitchen Incubator program of the Worcester Regional Food Hub. Neil will be the primary point of contact for tenants, taking them from an intake process through to producing their food products in a licensed commercial kitchen. Additionally, Rogers will provide onsite assistance to support the development of food businesses by farmers, caterers, and other food entrepreneurs looking to start or grow an existing enterprise. Neil will begin his role as kitchen operations manager on Monday, April 10.
“We are thrilled that Neil Rogers has accepted this very important position,” said Timothy P. Murray, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber. “The Chamber’s partnership with REC to operate the Food Hub promotes entrepreneurship in the food industry, supports our local farmers, and provides healthy choices to all. The Food Hub is making great progress toward these goals and with his incredible success in the local food scene, Neil is just the right person to take our kitchen to the next level.”
Steve Fischer, executive director of the Regional Environmental Council of Central Mass., added that Neil brings with him tremendous energy, creativity, experience and a passion for both developing the local food economy in Central Massachusetts and for making sure everyone in our community benefits equitably from that development. “We believe Neil is well positioned to help ensure the Worcester Regional Food Hub’s Incubator Kitchen project effectively serves both local farmers and aspiring entrepreneurs from Worcester’s diverse communities to start and grow their small food-based businesses,” Fischer said.
For more information regarding use and rental of the Food Hub Kitchen, please contact W. Stuart Loosemore at the Worcester Regional Chamber at 508.753.2924, ext. 222 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.