On a crisp weekday morning in the off-season, One World Kitchen located in the industrial area of Sparks on Spice Island Drive is humming with activity. The front office area is empty, but behind a set of doors a few people are navigating through a tight commercial kitchen space, prepping meals for a business or an event.
The 4,000-square-foot commercial facility houses many successful businesses, a few such as the Sparks-based Sugar Love Chocolates and Nevada Brining Company who’ve gotten their start at One World.
One World Kitchen is currently managed by Blend Catering owners Whitney and Josh Deri, who started leasing the space around 2013 and started subletting the area that they don’t use to other emerging food businesses. Using One World Kitchen is ideal for people who want to turn their food idea into a legitimate source of income without having to worry about raising a lot of capital to scale up faster than they need to. Businesses can book up to eight hours at a time or opt in for a monthly base package, however, One World Kitchen is at max capacity right now and about 80-100 people are on the waiting list to get in.
One World Kitchen was originally opened about 15 years ago and soon after the Perfect Pear Catering owner sold her business and shifted over her share of the lease to the Deri’s. The Deri’s had met at culinary school in New York City and then moved to Florida to run a food truck called Dough. That’s where the couple got their first taste of running a food business, but throughout the process they realized that they wanted to get more into catering. Whitney being a fourth generation Northern Nevadan, the Deri’s eventually moved back to this side of the U.S.
“We found out there was a market here (in Northern Nevada) and we wanted to be part of the growth,” Josh says. Fortunately, when the Deri’s bought Perfect Pear they also inherited all its scheduled events and immediately became busy catering anywhere from 110-120 weddings a year.
That first year was hectic with a 3-person team consisting of Josh, Whitney, and their friend Sarah Greenblat.
“We were thrown into it. We started growing a lot and began running out of space, so we asked (the owner of Perfect Pear) if we could buy the kitchen, too,” he adds. After the transfer of the lease, the Deri’s changed their name to Blend: A Catering Company, took over half the commercial kitchen, and opened an offsite office space in Reno where most of the subleasing, event tastings, and general business is handled.
Josh says that at his time at One World Kitchen, some of the longest and more interesting brands that have used the commercial kitchen include Sugar Love Chocolates, Mwint Soph Enterprises (a food company that specializes in African food, “they do every kind of bread and cookie you can imagine,” Josh says) and Taster’s Paradise- a mobile café that specializes in coffee and sandwiches. The popular Nom Eats and Bite Me food trucks also use One World for prep work and cleanup if necessary. The kitchen is convenient for food trucks because One World offers gray water disposal as well as an industrial size dishwasher, sink, dry storage, prep areas, stoves, refrigerators, and a towel service.
“The people we have here has been so great, everyone knows the rules and is self-managed,” Josh says.
In turn, Josh can focus his time on Blend which has remained busy. And while they wish they had quadruple the size of the space to be able to allow more people in, the four thousand square feet of area that they do have is just big enough to make it manageable and help people follow through with their dreams.
“We want to see these businesses grow; we’re happy to see that they don’t have to foot a big bill to get going. The cost to rent anywhere is so high that it’s hard for an emerging business to take on all that capital themselves and then have enough left over to deliver the product.
“I like when someone like Nevada Brining Company grows so much to the point where they have to get a bigger space and knowing that this was their base for a while to help them get started,” Josh says.
For more information about One World Kitchen or the businesses that inhabit the commercial space, visit http://oneworldkitchen. com/.