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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Lauded by Book Riot as “truly genre-defying,” Sobremesa is a must-read title during Hispanic & Latin American Heritage Month

SOBREMESA: A MEMOIR OF FOOD & LOVE IN THIRTEEN COURSES

By Josephine Caminos Oría | Hispanic Heritage Month

Have you discovered Sobremesa? Lauded by Book Riot as “Truly genre-defying! One of the best romance novels I’ve ever read—and it’s not a romance novel!” this magical culinary memoir that serves up a must-taste of Argentina is among the must-read titles this Hispanic Heritage Month. Today kicks off a month of celebrating all things Latin arts and culture. If you enjoy food stories mixed with romance and a ghost or two with a generous sprinkling of saucy River Plate Spanglish, won’t you join us at Sobremesa’s endless table? Everyone is invited.

See what people are saying about Sobremesa:

“Eat, Pray, Love meets The House of Spirits with the iconic Argentine chef Doña Petrona influence.”

— Hip Latina

“Will warm your corazón!”

— Allie Lazar, Pick Up the Fork

“A reminder of love as vast as the Argentine pampas!”

— Foreword Reviews

“Sobremesa reads like a cross between magical realism and the food section of the New York Times. ¡Delicioso! ”

— Beth Ostrosky Stern

Pickup a copy today wherever books are sold.

Between two worlds, alumna finds her true self

Josephine Caminos Oría, M.A. ’02, explores her family’s Argentine culinary heritage and tableside traditions in a new memoir of a life lived between two worlds. Read on here.

The Local Palate: A Seat at the Table with Josephine Oria by Lia Grabowski

BOOKSHELF: SOBREMESA

In a hurried world, there’s nothing quite like sitting around the table after a meal, letting the discussion meander from buzzing gossip to lively debates. For Argentinians, it’s more than a casual way to avoid doing the dishes; it’s a cultural staple called sobremesa. Author Josephine Camino Orìa sums it up gracefully in the introduction of her new book of the same name: “Sobremesa was how I learned to make sense of the world—the good, lo malo, the beautiful, lo feo, the unexpected, lo esperado. Sobremesa wasn’t reserved for holidays or weekends; it happened every day of the week.”  Read more…

Foreword This Week: Reviewer Kristine Morris Interviews Josephine Caminos Oria, Author of Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses—Part Two

Foreword This Week
June 3, 2021

Reviewer Kristine Morris Interviews Josephine Caminos Oria, Author of Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses—Part Two

Okay, ladies, top up your coffee cups and then let’s resume your conversation from last week. Sobremesa cover
Josephine, we especially look forward to hearing about how your ancestors and spirit guides interact with you and influence your life.

For those of you just joining us, check out Kristine’s starred review of Sobremesa. Much thanks to Scribe Publishing for bringing this incredible story to light. Click here to read more.

Mujeres y Dinero: Josephine Caminos sobre estar abierta a los cambios y oportunidades

Los platos pueden esperar… es algo que Josephine Caminos Oria, autora de libros incluyendo Dulce de leche y el recién estrenado Sobremesa (https://amzn.to/3yZ6bKy), comparte con nosotros explicando que no tenemos que correr a lavarlos sino disfrutar de los momentos y la compañía. También nos dice que debemos estar atentos y abiertos a los cambios y oportunidades ya que muchas veces, la solución al problema más grande de tu negocio lo va a llevar a otro lugar y a otro nivel. La fundadora de La Dorita Cooks, la primera incubadora de empresas de gastronomía en Pittsburg, menciona que somos mucho más fuertes de lo que creemos y que, muchas veces lo que no sabemos y vamos aprendiendo de “a poco” nos permite llegar mucho más lejos. Ella abrió su cocina industrial con la idea de compartir y devolver a la comunidad y recomienda, el emprender a la par que mantienes tu trabajo para poder ir avanzando hasta el punto que el plan B se convierta en el plan Absoluto. La argentina en Estados Unidos y madre de cinco, nos recuerda que puedes ser independiente, mantener a tu familia y disfrutar de los momentos compartidos. Para ella, los olores y sabores se quedan con nosotros. Listen in here…

Latina Watch: This beef empanada recipe will soon become your favorite

If you ask Latinas where their favorite empanadas come from, the answers will probably vary. Some might say Colombia, while others might mention Puerto Rican empanadas. While most Latin American countries have their own iteration of this beloved crescent-shaped pastry, Argentina has one of the most recognizable and delicious empanadas of them all. These empanadas are usually jammed pack with mouthwatering fillings such as ground beef, spinach, cheese, and more. For Josephine Caminos Oría, the Argentine-American cookbook author of Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Course, empanadas were always a big part of her childhood. Her grandma’s infamous recipe, like many Argentine empanadas, called for raisins as an ingredient, something the Latina was never fond of. “I spent most of my childhood avoiding Dorita’s evil stare as I picked them out, one by one, from each empanada that crossed my path,” she shared in her latest memoir. While Josephine still detests raisins in her empanada to this day (definitely not up for discussion), she is reconnecting to her roots by recreating her own version of empanadas — Empanadas al Cuchillo. Read more here…

Foreword Interview: Reviewer Kristine Morris Interviews Josephine Oria, Author of Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses—Part One

 

Foreword This Week
May 27, 2021

We sometimes think of our reviewers as explorers—this is your assignment, scribe, if you choose to accept it—venturing off into the uncharted stories and ideas of new books, logging details as the pages slip by, then posting an official communiqué in the form of a review.

Not that it’s dangerous, but on rare occasions the experience is life altering. The ever intrepid Kristine Morris just returned from such a place, where she encountered the Peruvian notion of sobremesa under the guidance of Josephine Oria. Sobre what? you say, just like we did—but here’s where we step away and let Kristine engage Josephine in an extraordinary discussion.

As you’ll see, they got along so well that we decided to break their conversation into two parts, with the second installment coming next Thursday. Read on here.