Most small-scale food business entrepreneurs lack the capital to invest in their own production facilities, and rental costs at the handful of available commercial kitchen establishments in the DC area are prohibitive — especially for low-income producers. So Crossroads developed the shared-use Takoma Park Silver Spring Community Kitchen to help meet the needs of small-scale food entrepreneurs.

The 1,120 square-foot kitchen and storage facility meets all local health and safety requirements governing food produced for sale to the public, and provides much needed food preparation space to those who have completed Crossroads’ Microenterprise Training Program. To date, 117 people have participated in the 30-hour series of free, bilingual business training workshops. The kitchen will also serve the community in food recovery efforts and by offering cooking and nutrition classes.

If you are thinking of starting a food business in the DC Metro area or if you need guidance in taking your food business to the next level, please fill out this interest form to receive updates and additional resources. Si está pensando en comenzar un negocio de alimentos en el área de DC Metro o si necesita orientación para llevar su negocio de alimentos al siguiente nivel, por favor llene este formulario de interés para recibir notificaciones y más información.

You can also explore a range of food business tools in our Resource Guide here. Are you a neighbor with feedback about the operations of the kitchen? If so, click here

Check out some of our food businesses:

El Carreton

Artisanal ice cream and frozen treats
Using only the freshest fruits of the Americas, Xavier Carrillo of El Carreton captures in every frozen treat the exotic flavors and decadence of childhood. His signature ice cream and sorbet flavors include passion fruit, coconut, green mango, pineapple, mamey zapote (with hints of honey, peach, and apricot) as well as a rainbow assortment of guava flavors. In addition to these handmade, natural helados, Xavier also makes paletas (fresh fruit popsicles) and refreshing drinks such as cucumber lemonade.

Gypsy Diva Fresh

Mason jar salads, Caribbean flavors, and catering
As a child growing up in Detroit, Bev Coleman, founder of Gypsy Diva Fresh, loved watching her Trinidadian mother cook. All the different sauces, ingredients, textures, and aromas piqued her curiosity and inspired her love of food. Years later when she relocated to DC, she took the plunge and started her own catering business. Some her most popular products include mason jar salads, tilapia sliders, and kale salad, and you can find many of them in the prepared food section at the Takoma Park Silver Spring Food Co-op.

Nancia’s Antojitos

Guatemalan small plates, fruit arrangements, and catering
Nancia’s big heart and creativity are apparent in all she does. As a teacher working with homeless youth in her native Guatemala, Nancia’s inventiveness helped her make the most of limited resources. Since bringing her passion for cooking and nourishing those around her to Maryland, Nancia has been selling traditional Guatemalan small plates, antojitos, at Crossroads Farmers Market (where she also sources many of her ingredients). Popular Nancia’s Antojitos fare includes carne asada, tortillas con carne, tamales, taquitos, and tostadas.

Yoga in a Bowl

Indian cuisine and Ayurvedic foods
Liz Chabra was born and brought up in India and is a self-professed yoga junkie and Ayurvedic cook. She feels fulfilled when bringing out the full potential in the people she touches and keeps that quest alive in her own life. Her passion for fresh, healthful food led her to start her business, Yoga in a Bowl, which specializes in fresh, Ayurvedic Indian cuisine, including fresh kati rolls, mango lassi, palak paneer, and Indian chutneys. Her products can be found at several Maryland and DC farmers markets.

Nisani Farm

Ginger and turmeric syrups, granola, and teas
Nisani Farm, which produces largely ginger and turmeric crops, derives its inspiration from owner Ann Codrington’s Belizean roots. Nisani means “our daughters” in the Belizean language of Garifuna, and speaks to the three generations of women at Nisani Farm—Ann, her mother, and her two daughters. Known for their medicinal qualities, ginger and turmeric form the base for Ann’s syrups, granola, and teas.

TAGOtogo

Authentic Japanese Bento, Onigiri, and Catering
Waka Kuroyanagi shares her passion for the subtleties and natural taste of typical, everyday Japanese food with her business, TAGOtogo. Waka’s food is deeply rooted in her appreciation for sourcing locally available, farm-to-table ingredients to prepare her popular bento boxes, sushi, and stuffed giant rice balls, using sustainable, seasonal, and organic ingredients.

Arcay Chocolates

Handcrafted bonbons, truffles, and unique desserts
Arcay Chocolates are the product of Anabella Arcay, a Venezuelan Master Chocolatier. A vast experience with chocolate and cocoa has positioned Arcay Chocolates as one of the premier collections of bonbons and truffles in the world. Arcay Chocolates is an internationally acclaimed Chocolatier with 42 international awards, providing a colorful combination of flavors and art that creates an atmosphere of exquisite sensations, offering a variety of superb and mouth-watering chocolates and desserts.

Cheryl’s Kitchen

Maple-frosted nuts
Cheryl Sloan, aka the “nutty lady,” began her business 11 years ago when she couldn’t stand going to the mall to buy presents during the holidays. She took to her home kitchen in Takoma Park and began creating handmade cookies and cakes for her loved ones, adorning the center of each cookie tin with her special frosted nuts. Before long, her friends and family’s rave reviews encouraged her to consider making her nuts for profit. Cheryl’s Kitchen will one day be a cafe where people experience all of Cheryl’s incredible cookie ideas.

Jalapeño Mexican Grill

Authentic Mexican cuisine from the Veracruz region
Ciro Fernandez and Araceli Lara say they are a classic mom-and-pop operation, and they make authentic Mexican food like you might see on the street or in a white-tablecloth restaurant in Puebla or Veracruz. Their food does not come from cans or microwaveable bags; they source fresh ingredients in season from local farmers markets, and most spices and seasonings come from their homeland.

Karing Cakes & Confections

Specialty designer cakes and baked goods
Karen Munguia has been baking for over 20 years, a tradition that was passed down by her mother who worked in the bakery business for over 25 years. She found the most profound comfort in welcoming her mother home with a hug, a hug that would release a wave of the sweet aroma of fresh baked bread embedded in her clothes. As she got older, Karen’s love of baking grew with new recipes and techniques.

Angeline’s Gourmet

American-style catering and barbecue sauces
Angela Ashley, originally from South Carolina, is a certified chef who has been serving American-style food at parties, weddings, and corporate events for almost 20 years. Her specialties include American-style cuisine and gourmet barbecue sauces.

“An alliance with the Takoma Park Silver Spring Community Kitchen would allow my business to grow quickly. This growth would also spur the hiring of employees, which would help our local economy.”

Mona M., Capital City Sweets & Treats

Program graduate

“When I have access to this community kitchen, my business will blossom.

Nancia S., Nancia's Antojitos

Program graduate

Recent Statistics:

# of food items now produced in the kitchen: 150+

# of farm to food business partnerships formed: 17

# of hours kitchen time logged last year: 997