LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It was when Leesa Howard looked into starting her own restaurant that she found the process wasn’t easy.
“Opening up any business is difficult, but opening up a culinary business is almost impossible," Lessa Howard, owner of La Cucina Commissary Kitchen said.
It was a trip to Austin that she first heard of a commissary kitchen.
“That is commercial kitchens that are rented for people who want to cook for the public but don’t have a restaurant,” Howard said.
She decided to bring the idea to Lake Charles, starting her own named La Cucina—Italian for “The Kitchen.”
“You can’t just drive up and come and eat. It is different companies who rent our space. They are using our kitchens. We’re open 24/7, and we rent by the hour,” Howard said. “This makes it possible to try it out before taking the big leap before buying a commercial kitchen and opening up a restaurant. You can get started here.”
This was true for the Velvet Pig. La Cucina’s first customer who’s business opens Friday.
“It almost kind of reminds me of like an incubator. It allowed us a place to grow and not have all the responsibilities of owning your own place right off the bat,” Nicole Butler, owner of The Velvet Pig said. “It’s the only thing of its kind here in Lake Charles. So, it’s really been helpful to me and a lot of other food truck owners.”
She says if you need help to contact her.
“You would call me, and I’d be happy to show you around and to walk you through the process,” Howard said.
Leesa is now hosting 14 food businesses out of three kitchens in her commissary:
- La Cucina Kitchen Clients:
- Del's One Stop Fitness - 602-6361
- Taylor - Made - 562-639-7011
- Ju'Elle's Catering - 513-6866
- Christian's Catering - 540-9934
- Food Trucks:
- DK SoulFood - 413-923-7113
- Freestyle Munchies - 540-8802
- Boulet's Boil and Go - 784-0421
- Senegal's BBQ - 436-1888
- Mr. Bleu's Shaved Ice - 318-376-0982
- The Original Rib Shack - 419-5094
- Drifters - 263-5999
- El Tepache - 764-5819
- Burger Therapy - 564-9595
- Gumbeaux Sneaux - 965-0319