During our last few weeks of meeting people in the foodie scene of Naples and getting to know lots of business owners, we have found that there are a surprisingly large number of independent and smaller catering and bakery companies within Collier County. And operating under the full restraints of local laws is not all that easy if you think you’re just going to pop open a company and start making food in your kitchen.
That’s what makes places like the recently opened Your Pro Kitchen in Naples so brilliant. It’s a full commercial kitchen located in North Naples that is fueling several of the catering and small-batch food producers in the area.
Located at 1431 Rail Head Blvd. (Suite 1 Naples, FL 34110), Your Pro Kitchen is one of four commercial kitchens recently launched under the Your Pro Kitchen name. Kelly Livingston, who runs YPK with her husband Jasen, was kind enough to meet us there and give us a tour. What we saw behind the doors blew us away!
Kelly and Jasen opened YPK out of necessity. Kelly was running her own custom cake business here in Naples, and needed a place to operate out of. But because of the success of the commercial kitchen, she is now focusing on the needs of YPK members full time. Working to help train new business owners and provide them with what they need to finish their food management course and pass the exam is one of many tasks happening here daily.
Inside Your Pro Kitchen, you’ll find everything you need (and more) to run your own food business. Rental at the kitchen includes use of the table spaces and other equipment…and you can even get a storage space there so you don’t find yourself constantly schlepping all of your supplies back and forth in your car. You’ll find several convection ovens, a 20 Quart Stand Mixer, baking sheets, large pots and lots of dry storage and freezer & fridge space.
The facilities are really nice and clean, and it’s ideal for those who are just getting started, as well as those who have a thriving business. Because you can reserve tables and equipment online when you’re a member, you never have to worry about whether or not space will be available. And you can come and go as you please since you’ve got your own access key.
After opening in October 2013, Your Pro Kitchen Naples has quickly added several local food businesses to its roster, such as Nico’s Kitchen, The Mustard Company and Sylvia’s Toffee. In fact, on many days of the week, if you drive by you’ll see Nick from Nico’s Kitchen outside, smoking pork and chicken for his delicious BBQ sandwiches. Kelly told us that they currently have 23 licensed food business operating out of YPK, including two food trucks and two hot dog vendors.
Other businesses you might want to check out include:
- Sushi Woo
- Big C’s Seasoned Salsa
- Crave It! Catering Company
- The Relaxing Cuban
- Catered Fuel
Note: This article written by Tiffany Muehlbauer, author and editor of No Ordinary Homestead, first appeared on FoodieNaples.com in 2014 and has been republished with permission.