Food Fueling West Philly Project

Image: The Enterprise Center

Crews are in the process of transforming one of the nation’s first supermarkets–the former Acme on 48th Street between Pine and Spruce–into the Center for Culinary Enterprises (CCE), Philadelphia’s first food business center.

The project is an effort of The Enterprise Center, the veteran entrepreneurial training and start-up incubator, which is located in the old WFIL-TV studio at 46th and Market. When it is completed in July 2012, the CCE will contain three licensed commercial kitchens, a youth-run training restaurant, an eKitchen Multimedia Learning Center, and two retail spaces, including a sit-down restaurant.

Through the CCE, The Enterprise Center hopes to launch or accelerate at least 10 new food businesses a year and create 13 full-time jobs and 32 part-time jobs on-site. The business clients who utilize the shared-use kitchens are projected to create between 36 and 63 jobs annually.

In addition, the CCE will work to annually place 50 individuals in workforce positions in the culinary industry and train 100 high school students in restaurant and hospitality management. Community health and nutrition programming is anticipated to serve at least 400 individuals each year.

Photo: Rachel Hildebrandt

Managing Director of The Enterprise Center CDC Greg Heller explained that the building was selected because it was “a long vacant eyesore on a prominent commercial corridor.”

The supermarket was built in the late 1930s by Clarence Siegel, developer of the surrounding community. Siegel planned the neighborhood, which is roughly bounded by Spruce and Larchwood to the north and south and 46th and 50th to the east and west, according to Garden City movement design principles. This meant that the neighborhood was self-sufficient, complete with amenities such as parks and markets, and that the architecture was consonant, typically recalling the 1920s Arts and Crafts movement.

The area was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Curiously, the northern boundary of Garden Court Historic District was drawn at Pine Street, excluding the prominent Garden Court Apartments (and the supermarket) that had given the district its name.

To learn more about the Center for Culinary Enterprises, visit the project website HERE and stay tuned for additional information as the project takes shape.

About the author

Rachel Hildebrandt, a recent graduate of PennDesign, is a native Philadelphian who is passionate about the changing city she inhabits. Before beginning her graduate studies in historic preservation with a focus on policy, Rachel obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Chestnut Hill College and co-authored two books, The Philadelphia Area Architecture of Horace Trumbauer (2009) and Oak Lane, Olney, and Logan (2011). She currently works as a program associate at Partners for Sacred Places.

No Comments


  1. Skyline Stories: Straddling buses, Philly’s The Porch at 30th St Station, Little Red Lighthouse | URBN Fabric

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
In Sharswood, Effort To Save Dox Thrash House Gains Momentum

In Sharswood, Effort To Save Dox Thrash House Gains Momentum

March 20, 2018  |  News

As modern urban renewal continues to erase African-American history in North Philly, one group works against the odds to preserve a renowned Philadelphia artist's legacy. Starr Herr-Cardillo has the story > more

New 40th Street Trolley Portal Design Dull On Arrival

New 40th Street Trolley Portal Design Dull On Arrival

March 19, 2018  |  Vantage

University City District's beautification of the 40th Street Trolley Portal was high on concept, but appears to have fumbled on delivery. Contributor Ann de Forest has the full review > more

Confusion And Quibbling At Mayor's Preservation Task Force Meeting

Confusion And Quibbling At Mayor’s Preservation Task Force Meeting

March 15, 2018  |  News

Mayor Kenney's Historic Preservation Task Force convened today following the release of a draft of a summary of summaries on the state of preservation in Philadelphia. Logistical bickering and sticker activities ensued. Starr Herr-Cardillo reports > more

Remembering Philly's 1967 School Walkout & The Attack On Teen Activism

Remembering Philly’s 1967 School Walkout & The Attack On Teen Activism

March 13, 2018  |  Vantage

On the eve of the national student walkout honoring the victims of the Parkland shooting, Michael Bixler takes a look back at November 17, 1967 when teenage activists demonstrating for equal rights became the target of a violent police attack > more

Oscar's Tavern Still Parties Like It's 1972

Oscar’s Tavern Still Parties Like It’s 1972

March 12, 2018  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow saddles up to the bar at Oscar's Tavern where the spirit of "Old Philadelphia" is as effervescent as their lagers > more

Back When We Burned Trash On The Delaware River

Back When We Burned Trash On The Delaware River

March 9, 2018  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. takes us on a whirlwind exploration of Philadelphia's notorious garbage problem, starting with the long-gone East Central Incinerator at Penn's Landing and then sailing around the globe before returning to today's trashy situation > more