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The Hatchery: Creating Opportunity for Entrepreneurs and Job Seekers

Insights from CEO of The Hatchery Natalie Shmulik

The Hatchery is a nonprofit food and beverage incubator that provides entrepreneurs with support, financing, and production space, while also creating great opportunities for job seekers. When we built The Hatchery’s facility a year and a half ago, we wanted to join a community that could benefit from our resources and teach us about what kind of support they needed. That’s why we brought our 54 food-grade production, shared kitchen, co-working, event, and ideation spaces to East Garfield Park.

Our focus on creating opportunity for entrepreneurs and  job seekers in our community is why we feel so lucky to partner with Cara and Cara Connects. They not only helped us hire Nicole to our team, but we also learned where to turn when The Hatchery’s network of entrepreneurs need support and want to provide job seekers with opportunities in their own companies.

We always strive to build a very specific culture at The Hatchery that is inclusive, supportive, and positive. For us, that means spending time finding individuals who have a specific skill set but also the right personality. So when we were looking to hire an Office Manager, we contacted Cara.

Cara’s mission-driven staffing firm, Cara Connects, encouraged Nicole to apply, and we immediately loved her energy, positivity, experience, and knowledge. After a couple months as our temporary Office Manager, we knew she was exactly the person we wanted to bring on. 

Nicole makes sure everyone that calls and contacts us feels heard, and that’s so important and not easy. She treats everyone the same way and is always there to listen. She also spends a lot of time listening and learning from the rest of the team, so that she can give the best responses possible. Everyone who works with us gets the best customer service when they talk to Nicole.

Since COVID-19 began, Nicole and our entire team used this time to uncover new ways The Hatchery can better support our community. We launched initiatives to provide meals to those with food insecurities and distribute surpluses of produce from restaurants, suppliers, and distributors. Our goal is to show how food and the nurturing of budding entrepreneurs and job seekers creates immense impact that benefits everyone. Thank you to Cara and Cara Connects for supporting us.”

Click here to learn Nicole’s story about coming to Cara and Cara Connects, where she found her opportunity with The Hatchery to make a difference for Chicago’s entrepreneurs and job seekers.

Learn more about how #CaraConnects job seekers to opportunity, businesses to talent, emerging leaders to mentors, and employers to communities. Check back here every day from September 6 through September 13 to celebrate the intertwining stories of some talented employees and leading employers. Let’s get to work!