BRYAN, TEXAS — These days, delivery, to-go and curbside pick up options are taking the food industry by storm.
One local business owner in Bryan was already prepped for the task pre-COVID and is supporting many local business owners either starting their food business or helping them continue one.
Before moving to Bryan College Station a number of years ago, Isabel McPartlin, an avid baker and entrepreneur, looked for a shared-use kitchen space for her own use.
The closest ones were hours away, so she set off on starting her own.
Before long, she opened up shop for other business owners to thrive in her space too.
"It's way too big for a muffin-ry, so the logical next step would be to 'Hey, if I'm looking for something in this area, then there must be other people in this area looking for this,'" McPartlin said.
Just two years old, Renegade Bakery & Culinary Studio is a shared-use kitchen space housing many local businesses temporarily, including Zeitman's Grocery Store.
Blake Zeitman is operating out of Renegade until his new store in Downtown Bryan opens up.
"We had a really great idea on what we are going to do and by putting it into play we realize there are certain things that may be better done a different way. So this is a really helped us refine our concept and put us in a position to really maximize our profits," Zeitman said. "We had kind of hopped in here right as the pandemic was kicking off, so it was an interesting way to figure out what the trend was going to be," he added.
Many businesses are using the culinary studio as a perfect pick up point for integrating to-go orders, delivery or curb-side pick ups within their operation, including M&M Catering, a business not quite a year old.
"Oh I love this set up. We got a good space to put our food and store our food and we got a space to cook and I like this kitchen. This is good company and good business and if anybody is looking for something and Isabel has room, I advise them to come in," Major Moore, owner of M&M Catering said.
Focused on growing the local food economy in Bryan College Station, McPartlin says it's a blessing watching local businesses thrive, even with the pandemic altering how food is picked up.
"The whole delivery thing is not going to go away any time soon. To be able to have that facility for people to come to pick up has been a blessing, for us to watch and for them as a business," McPartlin added.
From a food industry standpoint, Renegade is a unique option for local businesses to serve as a storefront or prep kitchen. It is also complimenting the pandemic curbside demands, which McPartlin thinks we will start seeing more of.
McPartlin says depending on the time you need, there is still availability for her spaces to be used.
"We used to have an hourly thing, but figured out every business is different, so when people come in I just tell them to take a tour of the kitchen and see what we have and look at the availability and the time and we will create a package specifically for you," McPartlin said.
McPartlin says there are 12 businesses, either using the space as a store front, prep kitchen or food truck commissary, with plenty of room to grow.