La Dorita Cooks and Virginia-based Frontier Kitchen Announce Asset Sale of Main Street Culinary Kitchen Incubator in Sharpsburg, PA

After first opening its doors to local food entrepreneurs in 2013, La Dorita Cooks is passing the torch to Frontier Kitchen to deliver an equally superior experience to Pittsburgh area startups.

PITTSBURGH, FEBRUARY 20, 2024 – La Dorita Cooks today announced the turnkey sale of its culinary kitchen incubator assets, inclusive of the 6,500 sq. ft. building at 2310/2312 Main Street in Sharpsburg, PA, to Virginia-based Frontier Kitchen, a business incubator for the culinary world.

Since opening its doors in 2013, La Dorita Cooks has helped more than 200 business owners access the resources and assistance they need to grow successful food companies with free workshops and consulting and kitchen share services, acting as a proxy to capital in early years when growth is risky. Since moving to Charleston, SC at the height of the pandemic in August 2020, La Dorita owners Gastón and Josephine Oría remained open and committed to serving artisanal food businesses until they found the right new ownership–someone who shared the same core values that are essential to continuing to serve the local food community.

“It is with grateful hearts that we close this chapter of our culinary careers in Pittsburgh and hand over the reigns to Frontier Kitchen. For the past ten years we have had the privilege of not only working with hundreds of different food entrepreneurs, but years of cooking alongside Sharpsburg’s youth at the free cooking classes we hosted from 2013 through the onset of the pandemic. We would like to thank Bridgeway Capital, the now closed non-profit organization Urban Innovation21 formerly led by William Generett, Jr., and Volunteers of America for their unwavering support in helping us to achieve a wide variety of community impact goals, from job creation to workforce training, healthy food access to neighborhood revitalization and localizing the food economy,” La Dorita Founder, Josephine Caminos Oría said. “Since opening our doors, our business philosophy has always been to stay true to the food, stay true to family, and lend a helping hand where needed, just as our company’s namesake, my Grandma Dorita, would have done. It has not been easy to find someone to pass the torch along to. It took years, but it was certainly worth the wait. It is time for us to step aside and allow Frontier Kitchen to continue to deliver an equally superior experience to local startups. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome them to Sharpsburg and are confident Frontier Kitchen will be an incredible asset to the neighborhood and Pittsburgh’s scorching hot food scene.”

With a history of deep involvement and unwavering commitment to helping local food companies take their place in the market, Frontier Kitchen brings an unmatched understanding of the culinary food world to Pittsburgh. Following the successes of its two operating kitchens in Lorton, VA and Chantilly, VA, this will be Frontier Kitchen’s third location that is slated to remain operational during the transition. Frontier Kitchen will lead the Sharpsburg location into a new phase of revitalization, reaffirming the brand’s mission to empower people to achieve their entrepreneurial goals and create strong, sustainable companies.

CEO of Frontier Kitchen, Brenda Cromer says, “We are so excited to join the burgeoning foodie community in Sharpsburg and the greater Pittsburgh areas. In Virginia we launched from the kitchens dozens of new local brands, two new national brands and well over a hundred new shops and restaurants into the community. We are so pleased by the warm welcome we have already received from the Pittsburgh community and cannot wait to support Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurs to help make their business dreams come true.”

 

Food entrepreneurs interested in learning more about Frontier Kitchen should contact Jamie Walters, Kitchen Director of Frontier Kitchen in Sharpsburg, PA at (412) 643-4544 or by email at jamie@frontierkitchen.org.

About La Dorita Cooks
La Dorita Cooks is Pittsburgh’s first commercial kitchen incubator to offer shared commercial kitchen space and business support programs for local start-up and early-stage food makers that aspire to become established, high-growth food enterprises. In the capital-intensive culinary industry, La Dorita’s kitchen incubator allows entrepreneurs to mitigate start-up risk and grow their food ventures in a community of like-minded business owners. Gastón and Josephine Oría established La Dorita Cooks’ kitchen share incubator in 2013 to address a problem they personally faced when starting their own dulce de leche specialty food business. The Oría’s, like many food startups at the time, were unable to find accessible commercial kitchen space that would allow them to manufacture their product line in a licensed commercial kitchen. They were forced to build their own commercial kitchen in the dining room of their home, proving up-front costs in the highly regulated food industry to be extremely prohibitive. This considerable up-front investment put the Oría’s far behind the eight-ball when starting their business. Since opening their doors, the Oría’s have helped hundreds of other food start-ups avoid making the same mistakes.
About Frontier Kitchen
Frontier Kitchen specializes in helping new entrepreneurs make their idea into a company. Being a business owner in the food industry is unlike any other industry; you have to not only understand the artistry of food, but the science of business and making them work together is no easy task. That is what Frontier Kitchen teaches. With a ten-year proven track record, our goal is to grow your company too big to stay in our shared space and to help you achieve your definition of success.

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La Dorita Liqueur Iced Espresso

This cool drink will be a show stopper at your next dinner party. It is the perfect after-dinner drink to sip; just make sure to use decaf espresso or your favorite coffee flavor. It’s also a great way to put a leftover pot of coffee to good use. Instead of pouring it down the drain, grab an empty ice cube tray and create your own DIY coffee ice cubes. As the coffee melts, it creates a luscious layered drink that is a feast for the eyes and palette. The drink will become sweeter as the coffee continues to mix with the liqueur. IMG_4677

7 shots freshly brewed espresso, or coffee roast of your choice

3.5 ounces La Dorita dulce de leche liqueur

Orange peel, for garnish

Honey tea lollipop spoons (optional)

Brew coffee (we prefer espresso because the bitter roast provides quite a contrast to the sweetness of the liqueur) and set aside to cool. Pour into a mini-cubette ice tray and freeze overnight. Place half of the tray of coffee cubes into a tumbler and pour La Dorita on top. Garnish with orange peel and a honey teaspoon, to further offset the bitterness of the espresso cubes.

La Pulga

Argentina and Germany faced off in the 2014 World Cup final in Río de Janeiro.  In honor of the clash of these two giants, we created this refreshing and patriotic cocktail. It’s fashioned after the Argentine flag and named after Argentina’s national captain, Lionel Messi—also known as La Pulga, or, “the little flea that could.”  Dulce de leche made headlines in worldwide newspapers at the opening of the games due to Brazilian officials confiscating almost 90 pounds of it from Uruguay’s national soccer team as it arrived in Brazil. Why, you might ask, would a Uruguayan soccer team travel with their own dulce de leche? It’s an everyday flavor they rely on. In the end, Germany won in overtime 1:0, but Argentina gave them quite a fight! ¡vamos argentina! “la pulga” World Cup cocktail JCO

2.5 ounces La Dorita dulce de leche liqueur

2 ounces vodka

2 ounces Blue Curacao

1 ounce whipping cream

Combine 1.5 ounces of liqueur, vodka and Blue Curacao in a shaker with ice; shake well and strain into a martini glass.  Remove ice.  n the same shaker, combine the remaining liqueur and whipping cream, and shake well until it becomes creamy.  Layer on top. Garnish with a fresh lemon zest spiral.

messi with flag

Franktuary’s Dulce de Díaz

Franktuary, a unique hotdog shop in Pittsburgh that focuses on local libations, features this signature drink for Sunday brunch. It is a refreshing way to start a lazy Sunday, and goes great with their smoked salmon hotdogs. ¡Bravo!

franktuary’s dulce de díaz from Franktuary Restaurant Twitter Account

1 ounce La Dorita dulce de leche liqueur

1 ounce espresso

1 ounce Banana Infused Jameson

Nutmeg, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve cold. Garnish with nutmeg.

Dulce de leche liqueur spun shake

As the summer nights warm up, our cocktails cool down.  This dulce de leche liqueur shake makes the perfect cocktail for summer backyard get-togethers. I make sure to have virgin and spiked shakes ready, so as to not leave anyone out.

dulce de leche liqueur spun shake JCO

2 ounces La Dorita dulce de leche liqueur

1 ounce vanilla vodka

2 scoops coffee ice cream

Dark chocolate syrup

Using a tall, clear tumbler, layer inside of the glass with dark chocolate syrup. In a blender, combine ingredients and blend. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and raspberry skewers.

Sunset Dorado

This stylish drink is a feast for both the eyes and palette. We originally made it for an Academy Awards Oscars dinner party.  The golden layering of Chambord with the liqueur resembles the streaked orange sky of a beautiful California sunset.

sunset dorado JCO

2 ounces La Dorita dulce de leche liqueur

1 ounce Chambord

Using a tall, clear cordial glass, pour the Chambord then layer La Dorita on top. Serve with a bar of crisp, dark chocolate. Give a toast to thank the Academy!

La Dorita Coffee Martini

This rich drink will give you and your guests an excuse to linger around the dinner table, known as “sobremesa” in Argentina, sharing stories and enjoying each others company.  It is the perfect exclamation point to any soiree. If you want to sleep that night, I suggest using decaf espresso.la dorita coffee martini purchased Shutterstock Royalty Free

1 ounce La Dorita dulce de leche liqueur

1 ounce espresso

1 ounce vanilla-infused vodka

1 ounce Kahlúa

whipping cream and coffee beans, for garnish

Combine espresso, vodka and Kahlúa in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake well and strain. Combine whipping cream with La Dorita liqueur; shake well until thick and layer on top.

 

La Dorita Crush

Nothing quite sets the mood for a romantic dinner like a beautiful cocktail that you’ve taken the time to create for your special someone. Crush on your Valentine with this sweet yet naughty treat. The frozen strawberries and cream create such a refreshing drink that you’ll have to pace yourself, as they go down too quickly.La Dorita Crush 2

2 ounces La Dorita dulce de leche liqueur

1 ounce vodka

2 ounces strawberry juice

1 ounce whipping cream

Put several frozen strawberries and a little water in a blender and liquefy. Remove seeds by passing the blend through a thin mesh. Combine strawberry juice, 1 ounce of La Dorita liqueur and vodka in a shaker with ice; shake well and strain into a martini glass. In the same shaker, combine remaining La Dorita liqueur with whipping cream, shake well until it becomes creamy and layer on top.  Garnish with fresh strawberries.