WeWork — the chain of coworking spaces that famously offered complimentary fresh fruit water, coffee, and ping-pong to freelancers on its way to a $45 billion valuation — now wants to reach people outside the workplace.
In January, it announced that, after conquering the market in office real estate, it was rebranding to “The We Company” and splitting into three divisions: office-centric WeWork, residential WeLive, and education-focused WeGrow. Its first retail concept, Made by We, debuted as a hybrid coworking space, cafe, and store earlier this year.
And WeWork Labs, the arm acts as a startup accelerator, allows the company to invest in businesses across sectors. Now, that includes food.
The massive coworking company is launching WeWork Food Labs, a food-centric coworking space and innovation lab that will contribute $1 million in equity investments to a cohort of startups.
Similar to the now-defunct Pilotworks, the Food Labs space in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood is designed specifically for people working in food and includes areas for R&D and merchandising, a food pantry, and a large event space.
The facility doesn’t include a commercial kitchen, though according to Roee Adler, the global head of WeWork Lab, WeWork will be able to help members gain access to kitchens at a discount should they need it. It expects to fill the new Food Lab with around 60 paid members.
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