NewsCovering Colorado

Actions

New Opportunities: Local food businesses in Pueblo will soon have a new workspace

Fuel Kitchens
Donuts
Posted at 8:14 PM, Sep 06, 2023

PUEBLO — A large commercial kitchen is being built in Pueblo. Fuel Kitchens will provide a place for local businesses to ship, make, and package food.

Construction workers are currently building the kitchen space. It will serve as a 3-thousand-square-foot full-scale commissary kitchen.

When construction is complete, Pueblo businesses will be able to use the shared space to cook and package their products.

“Pueblo's first full-scale shared commissary kitchen for food trucks, makers, bakers, caterers, so that they can get all the services that they need in one spot,” Collins said.

Jolene Collins is the Director of Operations and Mentorship for Fuel Kitchens and will serve as the kitchen manager. According to Collins, the space will have a sauté kitchen, a baking kitchen, a dishwashing area, cooking equipment, and more.

“We have a giant freezer, giant refrigerator, a huge garage, a place we can receive delivery, but ultimately the heart will be in the kitchen where people will be making things and selling them to folks,” Collins said.

Collins said one of the goals is to help businesses grow.

“Help with branding marketing, sales, and packaging. From the idea to the business plan, to help them grow at every stage. Not just like come into the kitchen, use it, and leave but really get to know them and what their needs are,” Collins said.

David Osby is a baker and owner of Pushin D’onuts. Osby started his own donut business in 2022. He previously worked for another donut shop for five years. Osby said he learned a lot about donut production and wanted to try it out for himself. He said it was important for him to create something of his own.

“To be able to have something for yourself and also to be able to raise your family and give your family something else to, I said why not, let's make donuts the family hustle,” Osby said.

Osby makes donuts in his living room and the backyard of his house. He uses a small frying pan in the living room and can make three donuts at a time. When he has a big order he uses the bigger fryer outside.

“I move fast, there's furniture and little people running around, that don't really mix well,” Osby said.

Osby has four kids and said with all the products, ingredients, equipment, and people around it can get crowded.

Osby thought about joining a commissary kitchen, but the closest one was in Colorado Springs.

“I am not driving way to the springs and back and forth. It is just too much commitment,” Osby said.

Osby said he was very excited when he heard about Fuel Kitchen. He took a tour of the facility and was very impressed.

“When Fuel Kitchens popped up, I was like oh this is what we need, exactly,” Osby said.

Fuel Kitchens would give him more space.

“The average workspace, the utensils, equipment, and space to store everything. When I get all those orders and the bags of dry goods, it takes up a lot of space,” Osby said.

At his home, Osby makes on average 60 donuts, the most per order is around 100. In Fuel Kitchen, he said he could make over 1,000 donuts in just one day.

“I'll be able to provide something for Pueblo that is different, hopefully, it will be someone where everyone can enjoy,” Osby said.

He thinks this will bring in more business because he will be able to take on bigger orders and make more donuts in a shorter amount of time. Osby said it will also make things more convenient because he will be able to store supplies there, instead of inside his home and he will be able to ship products to the kitchen as well.

“The mass production of donuts and everybody's favorite donuts will be possible that way,” Osby said.

The kitchen is located in a much larger warehouse building on Erie Avenue near I-25 and US 50 in Pueblo. The kitchen is not the only aspect of the space. Collins said it will have many amenities to make it a one-stop shop for makers.

“The property right now is an existing cold storage and warehouse facility, so we have freezer space and dry storage. We're also going to turn on our walk-in refrigerator so that we'll have storage in all three temperature zones,” Collins said.

Fuel Kitchens hopes for food trucks to use the space. They have made many renovations to make it more accessible, easier, and realistic for food trucks to use Fuel Kitchens.

“We have a four-port loading dock, amenities for food trucks on the outside like gray water dump, fresh water refill, oil dumping, trash dumping. We're even hoping to get our own propane tank. So lots of services that come along with the kitchen,” Collins said.

People will be able to get memberships at Fuel Kitchens or buy a day pass.

“We're doing a membership model where you pay a monthly fee and you get 24-hour access to the facility. And so there's a shared calendar where people can book time within a month to use the kitchen and share the kitchen together. And then we'll also have day passes. So if you don't need to be using the kitchen on a regular basis, but say every once in a while you get a catering gig or do a wedding, then you can come in and just use it for the day and that's okay too,” Collins said.

Collins is looking forward to expanding cutlery arts in the Pueblo community. Collins hopes this space will be a place for makers to collaborate, get to know one another, and share resources.

"It's really tough to be an entrepreneur. It can be really isolating, and it's just hard to own your own business. So when you can relate and problem solve with other people, it just kind of helps lift morale, helps you get you through the hard parts, and then also then we get to celebrate our wins and help each other get to the next level of business too,” Collins said.

Construction on the kitchen is expected to be done at the end of September.

Fuel Kitchens is now accepting applications from companies who want to use this space. to learn more about the space or to fill out an application visit their website.

____

Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.