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CoHabitat moves to Red River District, opens kitchen incubator - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

CoHabitat moves to Red River District, opens kitchen incubator

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

Changes are taking place in the Red River District in Downtown Shreveport. The city and property managers are working to revive the area to be a retail community.

Even though the newest tenant isn't a shop, CoHabitat Shreveport is cooking up new ideas.

"Right now we're in our shared workspace," John Grindley, CoHabitat's executive director, said Thursday during a tour of the new space. "This is where the workers work on their laptops and have work stations."

Grindley is excited to help more small businesses to develop in their new space in the Red River District.

"We typically have 80 members, and we're looking to double that with the kitchen, said Grindley. "We think we can get to 160 [members]."

That's right—CoHab is remodeling a kitchen space to give people interested in starting a restaurant or catering business a jumping off point.

"This gives them the opportunity for them to come in, not spend a lot of money, test the concept, and then promote it in a different way," said Michael O'Boyle, a chef helping CoHab develop the space.

CoHab plans to set up the kitchen like a reality food competition's kitchen would—with individual work stations. It would allow five to seven chefs to work out of here at one time.

"If I do get a small catering event, I don't have to worry about leasing a kitchen," said Panderina Soumas, a small business owner. "I can use this one being a member."

Soumas sells prepackaged food mixes. She once had a store front, but looks forward to the CoHabitat Community Kitchen to help her expand her business once again.

"Expansion in the culinary industry is endless because food will always be on the table," said Soumas. "Especially in Louisiana."

 "It couldn't be a better fit, said Grindley. "It's very serendipitous. We're ecstatic!"

The remodel should be complete this fall. CoHabitiat hopes to move into its new spot next to Nicky's in the Red River District in September.

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