Nowadays if you can figure out a successful recipe for running a restaurant the best way to maximize your potential is through expansion. That’s exactly what’s going on at Chesapeake Bay Bistro a year and half after opening in Ahwatukee. Unlike their brick and mortar location the owners opted to open their new location in a cloud kitchen inside the Tempe Food Court earlier this month. They’re not stopping there as third location will also be in a cloud kitchen in their former hometown of San Diego in January 2023.
“For restaurant owners, the past year has been challenging with staffing, higher prices for food supplies and rising costs for rent and utilities,” says James Brown, who co-owns the Ahwatukee-based bistro with his wife, Yolanda. “Adding locations through a food-court style expansion makes sense on many levels.”
Expansion into a cloud kitchen
Working in a cloud kitchen also gives them the opportunity to open new concepts without all the expenses of a brick and mortar location. That’s why the couple is planning to open a Creole/Cajun concept out of Tempe in 2023. Another reason for the expansion into cloud kitchens is CBB is seeing a lot of take-out from their Ahwatukee location.
“We believe that the food delivery model is the future and allows us to fulfill our customer base request,” said Brown said. “Sixty percent of our sales are call in or pickup now.” CBB works with several food delivery services to deliver the hot and fresh seafood dishes for delivery within 15 minutes.
To help alleviate some of the staffing issues of the past few years, the couple’s three grown sons have joined them in restaurants. One son will be running the new San Diego location in the Aztec Food Hub near the San Diego State University campus. The other two sons help out when mom and dad can’t be at the Ahwatukee location.
“Using cloud kitchen locations benefits small mom-and-pop restaurants like ours in several ways, allowing us to keep our labor and maintenance costs down,” Brown said.
The Tempe Food Court location is at 1900 E. 5th St. 85281, not far from the ASU campus and Tempe Marketplace. The Ahwatukee location is at 5033 E. Elliot Rd. Phoenix 85044. For more information visit their website or to order for delivery or takeout check out the delivery services.
The continued popularity of cider is causing Mesa’s Cider Corps to expand for the 2nd time since opening three years ago. This expansion has the veteran owned business move production to a new larger facility in nearby Gilbert in mid-2021. Don’t worry cider drinkers the downtown Mesa taproom will still be open along with Myke’s Pizza.
Co-owners brothers Josh and Jason Duren (retired U.S.M.C.) need the additional space to meet demand for its cans and keg business. “Our immediate goal is to ramp up production to be able to share our ciders with even more people in Arizona,” said Josh Duren. “As we grow, it’s nice to have kind of a blank page of space that can evolve as we do, and that can adapt as life beyond the pandemic does.”
Expansion plans in Gilbert
The 11,500 sq.ft. Gilbert facility will have a main building for production and retail sales for customers to take cider home. When it becomes safe to do so the brothers will host tours of the cidery and have events scheduled. Upon entry to the facility a canning line will be visible and customers can see the packaging process. A second building will be used for cold storage. The additional production will allow for experimentation of new ciders and techniques.
The current equipment will be moved and new equipment will be purchased so they can triple production to 1,000 barrels. Cider Corps opened in November 2017 and in 2019 expanded with by 2,000 sq. ft to accommodate the growth of their ciders.
“We get a ton of people from the East Valley, Gilbert and beyond, who make the trek to the taproom. We’re really excited about being closer for them” he said. “But I’m just as excited about being able to grow and create more ciders for all of Arizona”. The new facility will be at 685 S. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert 85296.
Beer drinkers around the world rejoice as Williams, Arizona based Grand Canyon Brewing Company is expanding with a new Brewhouse and Tap Room a couple of miles down Route 66 from their current location. The Tap Room will open July 28th with the Brewhouse set to begin production in January 2017. The new larger production facility will allow Grand Canyon Brewing to increase production to 20,000 barrels in 2018 and 40,000 barrels by 2020 and to continue distribution outside the southwest. Currently their beer is only available in Arizona, Nevada and South Korea. Owner John Peasley has his sights set for international distribution in China, Canada, Japan, Australia and beyond according to Peasley “With the addition of the new brewery we will be able to double our brewing capacity over the next two years, helping us to meet demand locally while tapping into more global markets,” The brewery will also be able to increase production of its small batch and specialty beers, “Shotgun Series” a set of 4 seasonal double IPAS, a cask program and other bottlings.
Check their website www.GrandCanyonBrewery.com for updates and announcements.