Three Black women are on a mission to uplift food entrepreneurs in Dayton, OH.

In March 2024, Jamaica White, Dabriah Rice, and Charlynda Scales celebrated the soft opening of their nearly five-year passion project, the 6888 (pronounced “six triple eight”) Kitchen Incubator Project.

According to a press release, it serves as a business incubator that will support food entrepreneurs through a commercial kitchen, training, and business — including ingredient sourcing, marketing and distribution, and access to capital services. This initiative serves as an extension of the endeavors of their nonprofit organization, OH Taste Foundation.

“We’ve been working on this for four and a half years now, and we’re just excited to be able to open up this project and offer these resources to our food entrepreneurs here in the Dayton area,” Rice said, Dayton Daily News reports.

The need for the 6888 Kitchen Incubator Project became evident during the pandemic. Rice, who serves as the executive kitchen manager for the OH Taste Foundation, recognized that many individuals sought to build food businesses from their residences. This led some to expand their services beyond the four walls of their homes.

“The lack of access to space to expand is stifling the growth of these entrepreneurs,” Rice acknowledged in a press release. “Further, these same business owners need training to operate and scale their businesses and access funding properly. The population served is under-resourced food entrepreneurs, often people of color and women.”

Fast forward to today, and the 6888 Kitchen Incubator Project is now home to eight flourishing food businesses, including N’Dulge Luxe Treat Boutique, Passion to the Plate, CheezCake Lab, H3 Energetics, Divine Catering, A Grazing Experience, the Regenerative Farmer Collective, and Divine Catering.

The goal is to support over 50 entrepreneurs yearly, which will be made possible through additional funding. The founders have applied for $4.1 million in Priority Development & Advocacy Committee (PDAC) funds in 2023. As of late, they have obtained $4.4 million in funding toward their goal of $9 million with $1.3 million being federal funding.

“This funding will expand 6888’s capacity to serve 50+ entrepreneurs annually. The additional resources will empower even more Daytonians to achieve their dreams of business ownership. The result is job creation, neighborhood revitalization, and a vibrant local food economy,” Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims said in a letter of support of the application, according to Dayton Daily News.

Looking ahead, White, Rice, and Scales want to increase their retail section, integrate a ghost kitchen, and include classrooms for in-person and virtual learning.

“We aren’t just building a kitchen. We are truly building a legacy,” Scales expressed to the outlet.