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Refugees Become Entrepreneurs At New Spice Kitchen

woman holds food

Organizers of the Spice Kitchen Incubator, a program which helps refugees start their own businesses, unveiled their new kitchen space in Salt Lake City yesterday.

Natalie El-Deiry is the department director at the International Rescue Committee and oversees the Spice Kitchen Incubator project. She says her organization had received a growing number of requests from the refugee community for help establishing food businesses. After training entrepreneurs in non-permanent spaces across the city, El-Deiry said she’s excited to see the program finally have a space of its own.

“We provide workshops, technical assistance and training,” El-Deiry said. “We provide access to markets and market opportunities and we provide affordable access to a commercial kitchen.”

The program is sponsored by the nonprofit International Rescue Committee, in partnership with Salt Lake County.

During the unveiling on Wednesday a few of the entrepreneurs provided refreshments to those who came to see the new kitchen near 2200 South.

El-Deiry said the entrepreneurs, who come from places like Bhutan, Iraq, Sierra Leon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Burma, will bring a new spice to Utah.

“The food is very reflective of the communities that we’re serving. It’s hard to describe just one type, but it’s very flavorful, very unique and different from what is already offered in the Salt Lake community,” El-Deiry said. “We really are adding new flavor to Salt Lake City by helping the entrepreneurs that we work with bring their food out to the public.”

Visit the Spice Kitchen Incubator program website to see how to help refugee entrepreneurs start their own businesses.