The Fork Food Lab, what is said to be Portland, Maine’s, first membership-based shared commercial kitchen and food business incubator, will remain open thanks to a new partnership with The Sustainability Lab, Yarmouth, Maine.

The lab, which was scheduled to close Oct. 1, will continue to house more than 25 food-based companies, representing over $3 million in sales.

“Fork Food Lab is a critical part of the infrastructure for small business creation in greater Portland,” says Bill Seretta, president of The Sustainability Lab. “It also serves as a bridge between local food entrepreneurs and consumers. In the two years since it began, Fork has become a fixture in our regional food system. The Sustainability Lab is eager to help Fork continue its mission of giving food entrepreneurs and small food producers all the tools they need to create and launch their businesses and increase their odds for success.”

Since 2016, Fork Food Lab has hosted dozens of food business startups. Members include specialty food producers, food trucks, bakeries, catering companies and food growers.

The space also serves as a venue for food-based events and private functions and provides additional production space for area restaurants.

“The future of Fork Food Lab looks promising, but there is much to be done,” says Seretta. “Top on my list are stabilizing Fork, raising $250,000 to eliminate debt and providing funding to grow Fork to be self-sustaining at 45 members and expanding training programs that support individual member growth and development.”