Business

Follow-Up File: Caterer settles into kitchen in SLO

Name: Heather Thomas

Role: Co-owner

Business: Two Cooks Catering

What they said then:

In August, The Tribune reported that Two Cooks Catering had outgrown its kitchen at Honeymoon Café in San Luis Obispo.

Russell Thomas founded Two Cooks with Ben Richardson in 2006. They met working at Novo restaurant, where they originally rented space to launch Two Cooks.

The catering company’s mission is to serve “global cuisine with a conscience.” Heather Thomas joined later, providing administrative support to the chefs.

In early 2009, the Thomases partnered with Christi Rivera, owner of the Honeymoon Café in Pismo Beach, to open the second location in downtown San Luis. It gave Two Cooks a new home, but closed last May.

With demand for catering growing, Heather Thomas said, they purchased Rivera’s half of the equipment and moved it to a larger commercial kitchen. Two Cooks would share the new space with Porter’s Gourmet on the Go.

What she says now:

Two Cooks co-founder Ben Richardson sold his share of the business to the Thomases on Jan. 27 for an undisclosed amount.

Richardson plans to teach culinary arts at Cuesta College, said Heather Thomas, director of operations. Her husband is now executive chef.

In October, Two Cooks settled into a 2,000-square-foot warehouse kitchen it leases near South Higuera Street.

“It was after wedding season, which was kind of a bummer,” Thomas said. “It took the architect longer to get plans to the city than we thought. But he was so thorough, there were no questions.”

John Hopkins of John Hopkins Associates was the architect. Cal Coast Construction completed the build out. Thomas declined to specify the cost of preparing the space.

Porter’s Gourmet on the Go also has been growing, she added. The mobile food truck service is owned by Duncan Palmer, who also worked with her husband in Novo’s early days.

In addition to its day-time sales, Porter’s recently arranged to park at McCarthy’s Irish Pub on Friday nights.

Two Cooks now has approval from the San Luis Obispo County Health Department to rent its space as a commissary kitchen for those producing food to sell at farmers markets or retail shops.

Its first part-time tenant, a chocolate company from South County called Way Above Confections, took up residence this week.

“It gives them a place to work officially,” Thomas said. “It gives us an extra little bit of revenue to cover our rent.”

— Raven J. Railey

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