Let’s help these amazing food producers get back on their feet!

The Pilotworks kitchen.

Your Gifts for Contributing
Your Name On Our Kitchen Wall!
A Bag of Deliciousness!
Adopt A Piece of Equipment!
Celebrate with Us!
About this project

In 2016, Brooklyn FoodWorks, now Pilotworks, was the most eagerly-awaited launch in food-obsessed Brooklyn. Not a new meal delivery app or farm-to-table restaurant. Instead, it was an incubator—10,000 square feet of government-funded, privately-owned space for cooking and co-working. 

At 6 pm ET on October 13, 2018, Pilotworks locked their doors, and shared this message on their website:


A "sad outcome" is putting it mildly. This sudden announcement adversely affects all Pilotworks member companies, each of whom relies on the resources and services that they purchase from Pilotworks, and many of whom do not have access to alternate production facilities. It also means the sudden loss of jobs for those who depend on the commercial kitchen space for their livelihoods and business operations, not to mention the retailers and distributors who rely on these businesses to stock their shelves.

As soon as the news broke of Pilotworks’ demise, Mike Winik, the co-founder of OurHarvest, reached out to Cheryl Clements, the founder of PieShell. Together, the two have formed an exploratory group of like-minded individuals with the goal of providing short-term emergency funding to the approximately 175 companies that were Pilotworks members to keep them in business 

To this endl, PieShell and OurHarvest have launched this crowdfunding project. Each of the Pilotworks member companies has not only lost rent money and inventory, but they’re now being forced to pay for emergency production facilities, refrigeration, and distribution just to try and stay in business. They need your help!

"I am 8 weeks away from giving birth, and I had everything planned out for the help I needed to get this running on its own for a while. I feel desperate because I know I can’t work for a while, and for every week that passes, I will lose the crew that can run this show on its own." - Tina Diep, Hungry Bird Eats

The food and beverage community is a family in every sense of the word: Slack channels for communication were created in minutes, Hot Bread Kitchen set up an emergency phone line and shared it with their community, resources and friends are offering trucks, fridges, freezers, etc. to try and help the entrepreneurs through this difficult times.

Where Will These Funds Go?

The funds raised by this project will go directly to, and be divided among, all the Pilotworks member companies impacted by this closure. Rest assured that NONE of the funds raised by this project will be going to Pilotworks, and/or anyone employed by Pilotworks the company.

How YOU Can Help

ANYTHING you can contribute will help us to help them. If you can't help financially, please share this through social, email, etc. You sharing this project with your crowd will show the love and support to people in our food and beverage community that desperately need it.

Thank you so incredibly much for joining us to help these amazing entrepreneurs get back on their feet!

Special thanks to Michael Berkman of Berkman & Associates for the amazing project video!

Learn more about us:
1st stepping-stone
Cover One Month's Rental

We have learned that all 175 Pilotworks member companies had paid rent, and yet are not able to use the space. As they have had to find emergency and typically higher-priced production solutions, we would like to cover a minimum of one month’s rent for all companies.

Thanks so much for helping us reach this stepping-stone!
2nd stepping-stone
Lost Inventory

So many producers had raw materials and finished products that they had a very limited time to move out of Pilotworks, and losses have been incurred. Frozen foods, refrigerated foods, and perishable items that couldn’t get distributed have all created inventory losses. We want to help with that.

Thanks so much for helping us reach this stepping-stone!
3rd stepping-stone
Distribution Costs

One of the critical services that producers at Pilotworks relied on was the distribution provided. By locking the doors, many companies have had to find alternative distribution channels, or use expensive shipping solutions.

Thanks so much for helping us reach this stepping-stone!
Who is PieShell + OurHarvest
Cheryl Clements
Founder + CEO

For PieShell founder Cheryl Clements, food is personal. It’s about connection. Growing up, Cheryl spent summers helping her mother run a pie-making business. Aptly named “The Pie Shell,” it was headquartered where all good startups begin: the family’s basement. It was from her Mother that Cheryl learned what it takes to build a successful food operation, but more than that, she learned how communities grow around the food that people share. A few years ago, when Cheryl thought of embarking on her own food venture, she saw a crucial need for a crowdfunding platform that addresses the unique challenges of food and beverage entrepreneurs.

Michael Winik
Co-founder + CEO of OurHarvest

Michael is an avid amateur fisherman and aspiring grill master. From local food trucks to high end restaurants, Michael loves scouring the globe in search of the most interesting and delicious food he can find. As a co-founder of OurHarvest, Michael is passionately determined to bring fresh, high quality food to all Americans, and to work with farms to create long-term sustainable food systems. Prior to co-founding OurHarvest, Michael worked at Evercore Partners for 8 years, where in addition to advising some of the world’s largest companies, he ran the firm’s analyst recruiting and #1-ranked internship program.

Michael is a graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a B.S. in Finance and Management. While at Penn, he also earned a B.A. in Political Science. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of IAHD, a $50M organization that provides social services for the developmentally disabled in the Bronx and Westchester.

Your Gifts for Contributing
Contribution of $50 or more
Your Name On Our Kitchen Wall!

Show your support for early-stage food startups, and we will show you social love: 1) a video thank-you from the startups, and if we succeed in the long-term goal of reopening the Pilotworks Brooklyn location, 2) we will print your name or your company’s name on a kitchen wall there.

14 contributors
Contribution of $100 or more
A Bag of Deliciousness!

The entrepreneurs who you help save will gladly share some of their amazing products and/or discounts in a “Thank You” pack. It will be filled with amazingly delicious products that you can share with friends and family to show how YOU supported these amazing producers.

Plus Gift 1!

16 contributors
Contribution of $500 or more
Adopt A Piece of Equipment!

Similar to how benches in parks are gifted to people that we love, we will let you “Adopt A Piece of Equipment” in the re-opened Pilotworks location in Brooklyn. A beautiful metal plate will be made in your honor and affixed to the equipment as a reminder of your love and support to any company using that machine.

Plus everything in Gift 1 + Gift 2!

No contributors yet
Contribution of $1,000 or more
Celebrate with Us!

If we succeed in the long-term goal of reopening the Pilotworks location in Brooklyn, you will be a special VIP guest at a launch party to celebrate. Come and celebrate making a difference in hundreds to potentially thousands of people’s lives! You will have put people back to work, and helped get amazing products back into the market. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for supporting these amazing companies!

Plus everything in Gift 1 + Gift 2 + Gift 3!

4 contributors