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. So Crossroads convened a coalition of community stakeholders and worked with the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church to transform an existing kitchen space into a shared-use, commercial kitchen to help meet the needs of small-scale food entrepreneurs. Open since August 2017, the Takoma Park Silver Spring Community Kitchen provides much-needed affordable food preparation space to those who have participated in Crossroads’ Microenterprise Training Program

After several years of growth, the TPSS Community Kitchen is nearly at capacity. We’ve embarked on a second-floor expansion project and when complete we will be able to accommodate additional food businesses. Keeping in mind the requirements for COVID-19, the kitchen is open to new applicants. We do not maintain a waiting list. Rather, there is an evaluation process through which we assess the status and nature of food businesses along with the availability of kitchen space and resources to meet their needs. Read more about the application process here.

If you’re thinking of starting a food business need guidance in taking your food business to the next level, please fill out this interest form to receive program updates and additional resources. Si está pensando en comenzar un negocio de alimentos 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. Are you a neighbor with feedback about the operations of the kitchen? If so, click here.

Check out some of our current food businesses:

Charlie’s Empanadas

Real Argentinian empanadas
Charlie’s Empanadas are made fresh, using local, natural ingredients. No preservatives or artificial flavors are ever used, and all items are prepared to order. Follow Charlie’s on Facebook to see where they’ll be next!

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.

Civilitea

Organic and hand-blended loose-leaf and iced teas
Civilitea‘s tea leaves and artisanal herbs are always 100% organic and sourced through fair trade practices. Be it rose petals, nettle, and lavender from Maryland or white and green Camellia tea leaves from southern India, the ingredients in every drop of their teas have been gathered with intention and care. Find Civilitea at Main St. Pearl in Takoma Park.

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. Look for Jalapeño Mexican Grill at Crossroads Farmers Market.

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.

O’Boy Pizza

Handmade pizza
O’Boy Pizza & Ice Cream, a popular food truck in the DC Metro area makes not just pizza but also Neopolitan-style pizza and luscious ice-cream “sammies.” You can usually find them at outdoor venues like Windridge Vineyards in Darnestown and  Elder Pine Brewing in Gaithersburg. Follow O’Boy Pizza on Instagram to see where they’ll be next!

Sincerely Wilma

100% Natural pancake & waffle batter
Wilma’s batter was first sampled by our owner, Tamara Cole, on a beautiful Sunday morning in her grandmother’s home over 37 years ago. Throughout Tamara’s childhood and early adulthood, she spent many hours shadowing her grandmother’s cooking techniques and recipes. In 2018, Sincerely Wilma was introduced to the world with five basic ingredients: flour, eggs, milk, butter and love.

Spun

Cotton Candy Art
Whether at Coney Island or the “Happiest Place on Earth,” cotton candy is the greatest treat of all — a rare confection, fleeting and magical (and oh-so-sweet smelling!). Spun‘s team of Cotton Candy Artists are re-imagining those beautiful sugary “clouds” and bringing a new level of excitement to weddings and social and corporate events, delighting guests with their original jumbo cones, hearts, animals, and other fun shapes.

TPSS Community Kitchen alumni:

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.

Aroma Juice Cafe

Pressed juices and smoothies
Aroma Juice Cafe, run by Egla Wolde-Mesket in Downtown Silver Spring, offers fresh-pressed juices and smoothies sweetened only with natural sweeteners like honey and dates, as well as fresh coffee, vegan/vegetarian dishes, and baked goods.

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

Cold-pressed juices, smoothies & salads,
As a child growing up in Detroit, Bev Coleman, founder of Gypsy Diva Fresh, loved watching her Trinidadian mom cook. All those different sauces, ingredients, textures, and aromas really piqued her curiosity and caused her love of food to blossom. Bev now prepares delicious, healthy food, including her signature product: mason jar salads. They are simple, super healthy — with layer upon fantastic layer of fresh veggies and grains — and refreshingly delicious!

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.

TAGOtogo

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.

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. 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.

“An incredible resource for small businesses like ours.”

Danny Wells, Civilitea

Kitchen user

“Everyone is very supportive here.

Ciro Fernandez, Jalapeño Mexican Grill

Kitchen user

Recent Statistics:

# of food items now produced in the kitchen: 117+

# of farm to food business partnerships formed: 17

# of hours kitchen time logged last year: 2,326