The Entrepreneur Space is a Food and Business Incubator focusing on “foodpreneurs” in the startup/pre-revenue mode. Run by the Queens Economic Development Corp., it includes a 6,000-square-foot kitchen that clients can use to manufacture their product. Djablo Sauce is one such client, making the first locally-produced, small-batch Filipino hot sauce in the United States.
The Entrepreneur Space needed funding to purchase a fill machine to help Djablo and other bottling clients increase their productivity, achieve economy of scale, improve their profitability, and grow their business.
The Entrepreneur Space applied for a 2019 FuzeHub Manufacturing Grant and was awarded $23,420. It used the money to buy a custom-built fill machine capable of filling two bottles, of any size, in 10 seconds. This compares to hand filling, which takes about 15 seconds per bottle and is subject to spillage.
Kathrine Gregory, founder & director of the kitchen incubator and managing consultant of the Entrepreneur Space, said the project not only helped improve client productivity, but enabled her organization to create a new part-time position. Laura Dadap, owner of Djablo, said gaining access to the bottling machine increased her company’s yield exponentially. This has enabled Djablo to reduce costs by purchasing supplies in bulk and to meet higher demand from larger accounts at a more efficient rate. It also has been able to hire workers regularly and consistently. After a little less than two years, Djablo Sauce can be found in seven retail locations in the New York City area and will soon be in warehouses across this country.