=Space, the popup coworking space whose launch we previously reported on, features a multitude of amenities for entrepreneurs, but perhaps its most popular feature so far has been its test kitchen, which is named Socialisto.
The space's founders are actually using their coworking space to incubate a new business: Socialisto is yet another one of Medina=Citi’s latest business ventures.
“It’s our coffeehouse,” said Medina, co-founder and creative director of Medina=Citi. “Clients can come in, get a cup of coffee or tea, and really relax and decompress.”
Medina said that in his company’s past experiences, a structured setting isn’t always the best environment to think of ideas or plans.
“Some of my best ideas have come over a cup of coffee, and I’d have to write it down on a napkin,” he said.
Socialisto will have eventually two locations, one in the new permanent headquarters of Medina=Citi on 84 Clinton Avenue in Lincoln Park, and another inside Gallery Aferro, at 73 Market Street. The Socialisto in Lincoln Park will be specialized for the tech community and entrepreneurs, whereas the one in Gallery Aferro will be geared towards artists and creatives.
As of right now, the test kitchen for Socialisto is located at 89 Market Street, inside =Space, and is labeled by Medina as the “heart” of the "decompress" area of the pop-up co-working space. The staff prepares its beverages and food daily, and they’re constantly experimenting with new flavors of coffee or other drinks and nourishments.
“The menu changes every other day,” says Medina. “We test out recipes, and we let people vote on them so that when we open up the doors we have things that people love.”
Neither “Spacers” nor clients are charged for anything. The test kitchen is honor system-based.
“We want to hear what they like about the food,” explained Medina. “Any funding they can give just replenishes the test kitchen’s funding so we can keep experimenting.”
Items that the Socialisto test kitchen has experimented with so far include homemade brownies, chocolate chip cookies, muffins, Vietnamese coffee, Swiss coffee, and other varieties of coffees and teas.
“We define [Socialisto] as the art of conversation and having that moment of pause,” says Medina. “By the time our menu comes out, it's going to be something people love.”