Fork Food Lab, the state’s first privately owned, membership-based commercial kitchen incubator and tasting room, was awarded a Regional ReCOGnition Award for Job Creation and Economic Development by the Greater Portland Council of Governments Wednesday.

The council bestowed the award in recognition of the community kitchen’s potential to “serve as an economic engine for the region, helping food entrepreneurs scale-up their enterprises to full-time operations that create jobs and attract investment,” according to a release from the council.

In 2014, greater Portland was chosen by the White House as one of the nation’s 12 Manufacturing Communities as part of a plan to double the region’s food manufacturing employment in 10 years. The food lab is catalyst project in that national program.

Additionally, the food lab launched a Kickstarter campaign last week that has raised $14,000 to fund the tasting room.

The food lab is expected to open in August in Portland’s West Bayside neighborhood.

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