Local Northern Irish couple return from New York City to open hospitality start-up incubator
Local Northern Irish couple, Ryan Crown and Ema O’Kane, have announced the opening of the Hill Street Hatch, a new incubation space, located in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter that will host hospitality entrepreneurs and creators.
Independently funded by Ema and Ryan, Hill Street Hatch will provide unique hospitality start-ups with a ‘shop-window’ to allow creatives to safely sell their menus to the public during the pandemic which has placed local restaurants and hospitality businesses under significant stress.
The opening of the space comes following Ryan and Ema’s return from New York City where they have been working in the hospitality sector for the past five years. Ryan has founded Crown Creative, a bespoke creative agency that has worked with some of the best hospitality companies in both Northern Ireland and New York including Marriot Hotels, The Dead Rabbit, and Zac’s Bakehouse and Established Coffee locally. Meanwhile Ema has established a career working with Brooklyn Gin as its Marketing Director.
Ryan Crown, Creative Director, Crown Creative said: “Hill Street Hatch aims to enable and support hospitality entrepreneurs by offering them a space, community and opportunity to test their ideas and to have early-days face-to-face interactions with customers which is a quintessential element of the hospitality sector.”
“The hospitality industry has undoubtedly been devastated by the ongoing pandemic but we believe current circumstances should not stifle the long-term creativity of vibrant and home grown entrepreneurs. The space, coupled with our expertise in working with local and international brands, will provide 360 concept development services for food and drink start-ups looking to launch new ideas within a safe support system.”
Residents will have access to a purpose-built kitchen area on the ground floor to prepare and sell their dishes and products. Meanwhile on the upper floor of the Hill Street building, users can work alongside the Crown Creative HQ to develop culinary concepts and test new hospitality ideas and experiences.
Hill Street Hatch has opend with its first pop-up concept from local catering company Humble Pie who will serve-up a selection of sweet and savoury pies as well as a menu of delicious sides. Humble Pie will also be offering heat-at-home feasts in the week leading up to Christmas for people to take away and enjoy over the festive period.
The resident of the Hatch will rotate on a month-to-month basis, dishing out a fresh new hospitality concept each time.
Ema O’Kane, co-founder of Hill Street Hatch commented: “The events of this year have transformed how people consume and enjoy hospitality experiences and the launch of the Hatch seeks to provide an innovative and flexible approach to customer interaction. Rather than rest on their laurels in the aftermath of the pandemic, we have seen a rise in creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and passion in the industry.”
“In the past few months we have witnessed members of the hospitality industry band together during these difficult times and we’ll seek to sustain this spirit of collaboration through Hill Street Hatch. With many in the sector without work, some people have taken the opportunity to go back to the drawing board and create a concept of their own and we want Hill Street Hatch to be the place where those ambitions and ideas come to life.”
If you are interested in using the space for your hospitality idea, register your interest at www.hillstreethatch.com.
The Humble Pie pop-up will run from 04 December – 19 December 2020 and will be open Thursday – Sunday each week from 12pm – 7pm. On Christmas week, from 21 – 24 December, Humble Pie will serve its range of large sharing pies and side dishes, perfect for celebrating the festive season at home.