Nevada City, CA – This month, Nevada County’s nonprofit business hub, Sierra Commons, is launching a fundraising campaign to support a new community program called a Kitchen Incubator that will give local food entrepreneurs the tools they need to start and grow a successful commercial food business. 

“The vision of the Kitchen Incubator is to provide the infrastructure and education so that local entrepreneurs who want to create a new food-based business or product can connect with the resources they need to source ingredients and raw materials locally, manufacture their products in Nevada County and get them to market in an efficient and streamlined manner,” explained Executive Director Robert X Trent.  

Sierra Commons is known for its flagship program, the Business Ignitor Course — a seven-week intensive program that transforms entrepreneurs into savvy business owners. It was through self-reflection of the Business Ignitor Course that the seeds for the Kitchen Incubator were sown. 

“Our Business Ignitor Course taught us that Nevada County really needs a Kitchen Incubator. We’ve seen aspiring food entrepreneurs fail to launch because the barriers to entry are too overwhelming. Meanwhile, other communities have implemented kitchen incubators and are actively improving their local food security and business growth,” said Trent. 

The strategy for the Kitchen Incubator campaign will come in stages, said Trent. The first stage rolls out this week with a fundraising campaign, jump-started by a $25,000 donation from an anonymous donor. Philanthropic community members who want to support the idea can choose from a number of sponsor packages and donation tiers.

“We have already acquired $25,000 but we need the help of sponsors and donors to meet our target goal of $50,000,” said Trent.

Community financial support of this fundraising campaign is critical to the overall program. Phases two and three will seek funding from grants, business partnerships, workforce development and earned income to complete the project over the course of three years.  

Sierra Commons Kitchen Incubator Program

The Kitchen Incubator will address a number of needs for the community by 1) Teaching food entrepreneurs how to bring scalable products to market 2) Creating a community resource hub and paving the way for a future production facility 3) Connecting local farmers with food entrepreneurs and 4) Streamlining the permitting and licensing process, said organizers. 

With funding, the Pilot Program is planned to launch in November of 2023 with up to 12 food entrepreneurs. Funding secured through the current campaign will help to develop a curriculum, build community support, outreach to the local agricultural community and food sector and elicit community feedback. 

In 2024, the program goal is to launch up to 20 additional food entrepreneurs, fine-tune the educational program and gain access to infrastructure. By 2025, Sierra Commons plans on launching a fully developed kitchen incubator program based on a sustainable business model. 

For more information, to contribute to the campaign, or learn how to get involved, visit, call (530) 265-8443, or email

About Sierra Commons 

Founded in 2009, Sierra Commons is a vibrant community for entrepreneurs and the driving force behind a more sustainable and resilient economic ecosystem in Western Nevada County. By creating a welcoming and supportive professional environment, Sierra Commons seeks to provide heart-forward business education and connect small business owners with high-value resources. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit strengthens the local economy through job creation and retention, leadership building and increased local revenue.