Jazze’s – healthy Afghani cuisine is one those ethnic tasty food you can find at the hall – Photo by Denise Mille (Global-to-Local)
By Denise Miller and Sian Wu
Unique incubator launches economic opportunity for newly arrived entrepreneurs in South King County community.
TUKWILA, WA – What does South King County’s diversity taste like? Immigrant and refugee chefs are now answering that question at Spice Bridge, the newly opened food hall and commercial kitchen in Tukwila. Operated by the nonprofit organization Global to Local, Spice Bridge is the cornerstone of their Food Innovation Network (FIN) program, which helps aspiring entrepreneurs launch and build food businesses.
“Spice Bridge allows for food entrepreneurs to make an income and show their potential, and also gives our community the ability to experience and appreciate the diversity of cultures through food,” said longtime Tukwila resident Ehler Win, who co-chairs the FIN steering committee.
Eight food vendors rotate through four stalls in the sunlit food hall, offering a new dining experience every day. With indoor dining currently restricted, the initial group of eight women-owned businesses are currently offering takeaway meals and making use of outdoor seating in the new Tukwila Village development. Entrees ranging from Congolese to Cambodian are priced from $8 to $16, served every day but Monday.
“We in the City of Tukwila are super excited to welcome Spice Bridge to the community,” said Tukwila Mayor Allan Ekberg. “Their mission to help women of color and immigrants start and grow thriving businesses is a perfect fit for our city because we are so wonderfully diverse. I feel the Spice Bridge food hall will become the favorite spot for people to connect through food. It will also add to the flavor of Tukwila Village as a central gathering place for all our community. I can’t wait to enjoy the varied cuisine one will find at the Spice Bridge food hall.”
Food businesses have traditionally been a way for many striving immigrants and low-income families to gain a foothold in the economy. However, skyrocketing real estate and rental rates make it difficult for these entrepreneurs to access commercial kitchen and restaurant spaces in South King County.
Spice Bridge provides the space and support to help these entrepreneurs launch and scale to successful businesses. The new 2,800-square-foot facility includes a commercial kitchen with four cook stations, four food retail stalls, and a community dining area. The space can accommodate up to 20 food businesses that either rent retail stalls in the public dining area, or use the kitchen for off-site sales, such as catering, farmers markets and packaged products. Subsidized kitchen and retail space is just one element of FIN’s program—they also assist entrepreneurs with all aspects of starting a business, from licensing and permitting to menu development and marketing.
In addition to helping to create economic security for business owners and their families, Spice Bridge helps build food security. The space supports FIN’s Tukwila Village Farmers Market, which makes fresh, local produce affordable and accessible for community members. Spice Bridge is also utilized for FIN’s community meals initiative, which has provided more than 8,000 no-cost meals for seniors and families in need.
Spice Bridge is funded by individual and corporate contributors, a Washington State grant, the Port of Seattle, and King County and Seattle Foundation’s Communities of Opportunity initiative.
Location and schedule
Spice Bridge is located in Tukwila Village at 14200 Tukwila International Blvd. Suite 141, Tukwila, WA 98168. Free parking is available between Spice Bridge and the Tukwila Library.
Takeout and outdoor dining is available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
- Taste of Congo, the only Congolese food business in Washington, offers grilled meats and hearty stews. Open Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- Afella Jollof Catering cooks up authentic Gambian/Senegalese cuisine. Open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
- Seatango crafts artisan empanadas and sweet pastries from Argentina. Open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
- Moyo Kitchen serves Somali-Kenyan-Tanzanian fusion food inspired by Zanzibar, the world’s spice capital. Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- Wengay’s Kitchen offers authentic Filipino food prepared with traditional ingredients. Open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday.
- Theary Cambodian Foods serves healthy, authentic Cambodian/Khmer cuisine. Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
- Jazze’s cooks up Afghani food made from organic, locally grown ingredients. Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
- WUHA offers fast Ethiopian food options, serving both authentic foods and American foods cooked with Ethiopian spices as a gateway to more traditional dishes. Open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday
About Global to Local and Food Innovation Network
A program of Global to Local, the Food Innovation Network enhances the local food system, increases access to healthy foods, and supports local food businesses in the diverse communities of SeaTac/Tukwila and South King County. Global to Local is a SeaTac-based nonprofit organization whose programs embody a racial and ethnic approach to ensure all South King County communities have the opportunity to thrive.