Using Flexible Commercial Kitchens to Scale Your Business

About the Episode

This is everything you need to know about commercial kitchens and how they can help entrepreneurs launch a small-batch product and successfully grow. Bella Karakis, co-founder of e.terra Kitchen in New York offers insights into how to take a small-batch product and produce it on a large, scalable basis; stories of brands that have succeeded in growing out of a commercial kitchen; what commercial kitchens can offer to entrepreneurs; and how they differ from co-packers or producing food out of a home kitchen.

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In this Episode

2:41 How did the goal of producing and marketing the perfect biscotti lead to the creation of e.terra Kitchen?
7:45 What was involved in the market research for starting e.terra Kitchen?
10:27 What is the key to creating a small-batch product on a large, scalable basis? Is it in the recipe or the manufacturing process?
15:12 Why is there a shortage of commercial kitchens?
16:04 What is a commercial kitchen?
17:41 How is e.terra Kitchen different from a co-packer?
18:55 How does the flexibility of a commercial kitchen benefit startups?
25:01 Are there any general guidelines or criteria businesses should consider when transitioning from using a commercial kitchen to using a co-packer?
29:02 What sort of support does e.terra Kitchen offer startups that are working with them?
33:54 What types of retailers are most open to smaller brands?
36:48 What can and can’t be produced in an e.terra Kitchen? Does the kitchen resemble a typical restaurant kitchen in terms of equipment, or does it have a slightly different set of tools?
40:23 Is it possible to manufacture beverages in a commercial kitchen?
48:08 What’s the most popular consumer product?
53:25 What is the impact on food producers from people changing their eating habits, such as making the decision to be vegan?
59:53 What is the biggest mistake that new consumer product companies make?

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Resources Mentioned

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Acronyms or Terms Used in This Episode

  • Co-packer – also known as a contract packer, a company that packages products for clients and may offer additional services such as warehousing and distribution
  • Ghost kitchens – kitchens that operate without any restaurant dining side – they prepare food for service to customers exclusively through delivery or online orders
  • Dough sheeter – industrial kitchen machinery that rolls out large sheets of dough to the desired, uniform thickness
  • CPG manufacturers – consumer packaged goods manufacturers

Meet Our Guest

Bella Karakis

Bella Karakis

Co-Founder and CEO of e.terra Kitchen

Bella Karakis is the co-founder and CEO of e.terra Kitchen, a flexible commercial kitchen with 2 locations currently based in Harlem, New York. e.terra is a culinary workspace solutions company that provides on-demand commercial kitchens, and comprehensive support, customized to the needs of F&B brands, from startups to CPG manufacturers and delivery-only ghost restaurants.

Prior to co-founding e.terra, Bella’s hospitality experience included serving as the Chief Business Development Officer and co-founder of ChefScape, a shared commercial kitchen and food hall concept, as well as CEO of Union 3Sixty5, a mobile hospitality company with 2 food trucks and event operations in the Washington D.C. metro region.

Bella is an attorney with over 20 years of IP experience, both in a law firm and in-house settings, and her practice has spanned over 120 countries worldwide. She is currently Of Counsel at Olshan Law, a leading NYC corporate law firm.

Location Location: New York, New York

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