Chef Launches Food Collective in Oakland

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While some Bay Area companies are struggling to stay open and hire enough people, an Oakland food and business collective is growing in a way you can only describe as delicious.

Oakland's Red Door Collective is humming.

"It's a movement. It's about coming together and building wealth,” said Free Reign, founder of Red Door Catering.

Free launched the collective inside her Adeline Street catering business to help companies like The Final Sauce stay afloat.

"There was nowhere to go to and turn to,” said Brownie Sims, Co-owner of the Final Sauce.

Sims said the COVID-19 recession made it nearly impossible for her and her sister to build their business This is where they turned to.

"You can't be your own cheerleader. You need people who have been in the industry for a long time and then to be in a place where not only is it safe, but you're learning," she added.

Now Free, boosted by investment dollars from the Oakland Black Business Fund is expanding the number of startups she's taking in.

“We are bringing new employees back, and also allowing the companies that are housed here to expand their business and guide them with a little bit of mentorship," Free said.

Like local business Baby Bean Pie, which used to work out of the home. But now has a place to cook and sell.

"It actually expanded our business a lot," said Cakiyyah Shaheed, co-owner of Baby Bean Pie. "So, we have set days where we're actually going to be in the kitchen and its less sporadic. We have a schedule. People know when to come."

Dozens of small businesses have already been created from here in the collective.

The Final Sauce said it wants to be one of those in the near future to get its own spot and hire new people in Oakland.

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