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The BXL Business Incubator offers a wide assortment of services for startups, centering around a coworking space in the heart of South Bronx. They offer in-house business counseling on legal and financial matters and provide access to pro bono accounting services as well. Their parent organization, BOC Development Inc. offers micro-lending services with low-interest loans. BXL offers both virtual and on-site memberships to accommodate different needs.
If you’re a professional chef but tired of the restaurant grind, starting a catering service is a great opportunity to strike out into the world of self-employment. You’ll need access to a commercial kitchen, a part-time staff of servers, and a couple of assistant cooks to start. But, compared to opening your own restaurant, the overhead costs of starting and running a catering company are much more manageable.
Rynn Caputo, formerly a senior manager at Johnson and Johnson, was tired of the corporate grind. On the first night of her honeymoon in Tahiti, Rynn and her husband David met two chefs, each of whom owned an Italian restaurant back in the States. "The next morning, my husband woke up and said "˜This is what I want to do with my life," says Rynn. Rynn felt the same. The couple enrolled in culinary school in the southern coast of Italy for six months, quit their jobs, and traveled through 20 regions of Italy. "Our parents thought we were crazy," says Rynn. Eventually, the couple bought a 193-year-old stone farmhouse in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, and built an addition to the home that would serve as the commercial-grade creamery for a cheese-making business. In July 2011, the couple launched Caputo Brothers Creamery (named for their two sons). The company is already producing some 300-500 pounds of cheese per week, and distribute in some of the country's top cheese shops, like Murray's in New York City. "The growth has been explosive," notes Caputo.