Fork Food Lab in Portland in September, 2017. Shawn Patrick Ouellette photo/Press Herald

SOUTH PORTLAND — Fork Food Lab in Portland has received funding to buy a new larger facility in South Portland. 

On March 22, Fork Food Lab took another step toward moving its commercial kitchen on Parris Street in Portland to South Portland after securing insurance on a $3.6 million loan to buy the larger facility. According to a previous statement made by Fork Food Lab Director Bill Seretta, the loan insurance was an important part of the “finance puzzle.” 

“We need to complete the equity investment piece and are still tracking for a closing by the end of April and a move-in date in late 2022 after we complete renovations,” said Seretta. 

The kitchen has been looking to expand its location for the past two years. The Finance Authority of Maine approved a 90 percent pro rata insurance loan from the Mascoma Bank to help finance the purchase of the new building.  

According to a previous statement made by the finance authority, it is pleased to help finance the relocation project that will enable Fork Food Labs to grow, allow new members and help accommodate their needs.  

“Greater Portland’s food industry has experienced significant growth over the past decade and Fork Food Labs provides a critical starting point for many businesses seeking to launch their operations without investing large amounts of capital upfront,” the authority wrote.


The new location will be at 95-97 Darling Ave. in South Portland near the Maine Mall. The space will include two buildings with a combined footprint of 42,000 square feet and is eight times bigger than its current location. The new building will allow Fork Food Lab to accommodate more members as well as employees. They are also looking to add a food processing and packaging line. 

Fork Food Lab was founded in 2016 and is a nonprofit food business incubator and shared commercial kitchen. It provides entrepreneurs with space, equipment, resources, and access to locally sourced ingredients. Fork Food Lab works by renting space and equipment to members. The lab offers support with services like testing and marketing.  

The company has helped launch several successful businesses in southern Maine, including Cape Whoopies, Parlor Ice Cream Co., Plucked Fresh Salsa, Mill Cove Baking Co., and Falafel Mafia. Like many businesses during the pandemic, Fork Food Lab nearly closed due to losing almost half its members, but rebounded in 2021 when it doubled memberships in just four months. The lab announced in October 2021 that it was under contract to buy a bigger space in South Portland that will help bring new business to the area. 

For more information on Fork Food Lab, visit its Facebook page or website,


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