LINCOLN HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) — The doors are now open at a unique food production facility in Los Angeles that’s empowering entrepreneurs.
The L.A. Prep project is bringing together dozens of small food companies under one roof in Lincoln Heights, creating 54 separate kitchens inside what used to be a massive warehouse.
The opening of the largest part of the facility, L.A. Kitchen, has been a dream come true for many.
“Five days ago, I was at the Downtown Women’s Center cooking there … at the homeless shelter,” said one of the chefs.
The entrepreneurs say the program is now giving them the chance to make money.
“What we found is that a typical small food business can spend over a year trying to go from the point they have a fully developed product to the point where they can be making that in a legal facility,” Mott Smith, the founder of L.A. Prep, said.
Now, with the help of this project, the process has been streamlined.
Every kitchen comes with a freezer and one of the tenants has even set-up a program allowing former foster youth and those who are homeless to be trained to become chefs.
“They’re giving us an opportunity here to get somewhere in life,” one participant said.
The building was previously an abandoned warehouse filled with boxes, discarded trash, and cobwebs.
The rent at the building varies from $2,000 to $4,000 a month, which industry insiders say is very reasonable. There are only 6 spots left.