Clovis Culinary Center celebrates five years of growing local eateries

‘Afrodisiacs’ creat naturally flavored fruity drinks. (Photo JT Gomez, Clovis Roundup)

Nikki McCabe

June 27, 2023 – “From Recipe to Reality.” That is how the Clovis Culinary Center describes their mission to provide support for a community of food entrepreneurs.

For five years now, the center has welcomed and nurtured those with dreams of expanding their food businesses. The center provide space at their commercial kitchen for cooking and creating a service to their customers.

The center has also been shown to be a place of networking and connecting with opportunities for marketing their business.

Several entrepreneurs gathered at the center June 27th to celebrate and represent their business venture.

Kris Marshall, Operations Manager of Clovis Culinary Center believes the assistance is crucial for their group of clients.

“They know how to do the cooking, they know how to put ingredients together and make it something beautiful,” said Marshall. “That doesn’t always come with the knowledge of how to run a business.”

Marshall said before the center, there was no place for entrepreneurs in the area to receive assistance. Marshall enjoys watching the food entrepreneurs that come to the center achieve growth.

“I think it is such a competitive industry and it shouldn’t be. Everyone loves to eat. I love to see that growing community of bringing people together with food because that is the point of food right, it brings everyone together.”

In the span of five years, under 100 businesses have benefited from the center.

Local business ‘Dad’s cookies’ received help from the center during the pandemic, and now have their own brick and mortar.

Lisa Segura works with her husband Miguel of 20 years to create authentic Mexican cuisine dishes under their business, ‘Miguel’s Salsa’. The husband and wife duo have been running their business with the center for three years.

Segura believes what they have learned from the center is essential.

“We did not come from a culinary background at all,” said Segura. “I came from retail and my husband came from business to business sales. We have support all around us so we learned how to cater, we learned how to cook things on a larger scale. We learned how to use a certified kitchen, and that is a challenge on its own.”

Segura said she has gained skills in business development and learned to network with other small businesses. Segura believes what they have achieved is all due in part to the center.

“Without the Clovis Culinary Center I couldn’t have made it this far without them so definitely keep watching the Clovis Culinary Center and who is coming out of there.”

Amber Hollis works with her wife Lenore to create their naturally flavored fruity drinks they offer from, ‘Afrodisiacs’. Hollis has used the center’s space for the past six months and uses the commercial kitchen to produce, store, and distribute their products.

“We started off trying to do it at home, and we noticed that there would be a lot of distractions and not a lot of room for us to create our products and store our products,” said Hollis.

“Here at the culinary kitchen, it eliminated all of that chaos…”

Hollis is thankful for the center’s resources and hopes other entrepreneurs take advantage of it.

“It really helps. It is a small based community, but there are multiple resources out there for you to grow and expand your business.”