New Businesses in Florida
Amid one of the nation's worst recessions, these entrepreneurs forged ahead.
Cooking Up a Business
Cindy Pickering's Your Pro Kitchen provides commercial kitchen rentals for food service entrepreneurs.[Photo: Mark Wemple]
Pickering had learned how to run a small food business when she launched a salsa business in 2003. "You can't do it out of your house. You need to be in a certified commercial kitchen," she says.
Pickering used $70,000 of the proceeds from the sale of the salsa business to launch her shared kitchen concept. Today, more than 50 customers — including pastry chefs, caterers and food truck operators — work out of her 3,500-sq.-ft. facility, which has already expanded. Tenants sign a minimum six-month lease and agree to use the facilities for at least eight hours each month, which costs $125. Dry storage space is also available for $25 per month. Michael and Doris Leonardo turned to Your Pro Kitchen to save their 20-year-old catering company when they could no longer afford to pay the rent on their Dunedin storefront. "It was meant to be," says Michael Leonardo.