When the Entrepreneur Space, a food manufacturing incubator in Long Island City, celebrated its first birthday last week, it did so with cake fit for the stars — and one star in particular.
New York author Jane Scovell, who helps co-write celebrity biographies and co-wrote Elizabeth Taylor’s diet book/memoir “Elizabeth Takes Off,” donated a nearly 20-year-old piece of chocolate cake from the actress’ 60th birthday party to the incubator Jan. 25.
The piece of cake, about 4 inches in diameter and decorated with sugar violet flowers and green leaves, will be on permanent loan and display in a freezer at the space.
“It’s a wonderful place,” Scovell said. “I think Elizabeth would have been tickled purple.”
The Entrepreneur Space, at 36-46 37th St., is run through a cooperation between the Queens Economic Development Corp. and the food incubator consulting firm Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen.
The city EDC and area elected officials also supply some funding. The location provides rentable kitchen and office space to startup businesses until they can get their own location.
“We are so proud to be supportive of this,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the QEDC.
Scovell, who attended the star’s birthday party on Feb. 27, 1992, in Disneyland, said after Taylor died last year she had wanted to give the cake to a charity. She chose the incubator instead due to the accomplishments of Bornstein.
“Seth Bornstein is the best gift the city has,” Scovell said.
While Dame Liz’s cake was not for consumption, 30 clients of the incubator made sure the hundreds who came to celebrate Entrepreneur Space’s birthday had plenty of sweet or spicy things to eat. The incubator serves 175 clients and their wares include flavored nuts, spicy noodles, vegan meals, dog treats and a wide variety of desserts from cookies to marshmallows to balls of cheesecake dipped in chocolate.
“I think a lot of people tasted some amazing food,” said Kathrine Gregory, founder of Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen.
Gregory said she hoped the incubator would have 400 clients by its second birthday.
Seth Pinsky, president of the EDC, said the incubator exemplified what was great about New York.
“This is a good opportunity to show that small businesses can help the economy,” Pinsky said.
JuKay Hsu, head of the nonprofit Coalition for Queens, said he hoped incubators could be started for industries besides food manufacturing in Queens.
“We have such an entrepreneurial spirit in Queens and we think the QEDC has done so much to promote that,” Hsu said.
State Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who was one of a number of elected officials to attend the celebration, said the incubator was a benefit to Queens.
“This place is literally how people achieve their American Dreams,” Meng said. “And it’s delicious!”
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cn
©2012 Community News Group
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