MBRE Represents Food Tech Startup Nurture Life in River North Lease
Chicago | January 09, 2017
CHICAGO, January 9, 2017 – MB Real Estate (MBRE) is pleased to announce that Craig McCaw, assistant vice president of Corporate Services, has completed an 8,000 square foot lease on behalf of Nurture Life at 358 W. Ontario Street, in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The deal represents the startup’s first official office space and production facility.
Founded in 2015 by former Silicon Valley tech professionals Steven Minisini and Jennifer Chow, Nurture Life is a food tech company that prepares organic, ready-to-eat meals for children ages six months to 18 years. As working parents, Minisini and Chow learned from personal experience that making sure kids have fresh, well-balanced meals is challenging and time consuming, and that there are very few full meal delivery plans targeted to children. Minisini and Chow took advantage of the opportunity to help parents who didn’t want their child’s diet compromised by a hectic schedule.
Subscribers receive a weekly delivery of ready-to-eat meals that are developed by an in-house culinary team, including a pediatric dietitian. Using organic ingredients, Nurture Life provides meal customization based on the age and dietary preferences of each child.
To guarantee that food always meets the highest quality standards, as well as the specific requirements of each meal plan, meal prep takes place in the firm’s on-site, commercial-grade kitchen – one feature of their River North headquarters that was an absolute must for founders Minisini and Chow.
“Parents are placing a greater importance on where the food that their children consume is produced, requiring food companies to adhere to best-in-class safety practices and transparency of all product ingredients and major allergens. Nurture Life has addressed these critical concerns from day one with the build out of our state-of-the-art production facility, which was designed as an integrated supply chain from the receipt of raw ingredients to finished product, providing a safe process that families can trust,” said co-founder Steven Minisini.
Finding a location that could accommodate both a modern, open layout office space, as well as a state- of-the-art production facility, posed a unique challenge for Nurture Life and McCaw. Space options were further limited by Minisini and Chow’s desire to be located in downtown Chicago, where they could be close to a thriving talent pool of professionals, culinary trailblazers, and an ever-growing tech scene.
“The perfect space that Nurture Life was looking for did not exist in the marketplace. The trick was finding a space with some existing restaurant infrastructure (i.e. black iron exhaust, walk-in cooler/freezer, etc.) and then converting the restaurant seating area into open office,” said Craig McCaw.
McCaw was able to connect with a landlord looking to transition from restaurant to office tenants and Minisini and Chow were able to maintain some of space’s original culinary elements during the renovation process.
Minisini and Chow chose to relocate from Silicon Valley to Chicago to found Nurture life in order to ease a planned transition from a regional to a national meal delivery service. Chicago’s central location and position as a global supply chain hub meant that the firm could reach more families than if their production facility were located on either coast. This strategy has proven to be successful, as Nurture Life now delivers to over 20 major cities that extend as far as New York, Atlanta, and Dallas, with only a single production facility. The firm plans to eventually open a West Coast production facility to round out its national reach.
“Many families are constantly struggling to find the time to plan, prep, shop, and cook, but are committed to feeding their kids fresh, healthy food every day. We want to help busy families feed their kids fresh, nutritious, wholesome meals without the time and stress of having to do it all themselves. Our passion is to impact the healthy development of children,” said co-founder Jennifer Chow.
About MB Real Estate Services Inc.
Founded in 1982, MB Real Estate is a full-service real estate organization that provides multifaceted expertise in Asset/Facilities Management; Leasing Services; Project/Construction Management; Tenant Representation and Investment Services. Separately, MBRE Healthcare and its independent affiliate fund manager, ROA Holdings, are a full-service real estate entity that acquires, develops, leases, and manages healthcare facilities across the United States. MBRE Healthcare is headquartered in Chicago, with regional offices in New York, Atlanta, Columbus, Orlando, Dallas and Denver. For more information, visit www.mbres.com or www.mbrehealthcare.com.