Ghost Kitchen Flourishes in Citrus HeightsSep 30, 2022 12:00AM ● By Story and photos by Thomas J. Sullivan
Alan Liddawi, owner of Yalla Yalla Bakery and Restaurant at 7800 Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights rents out his adjacent commercial commissary kitchen to multiple users.
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Visualize a restaurant without a visible storefront or even dining space.
That’s the general idea behind a “ghost kitchen,” a growing phenomenon which enables a chef or team of cooks, all using the same shared rented kitchen space, to prepare dishes for direct sale, or through online food orders using third-party apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash.
Local head “ghost”, Alan Liddawi, owner of Yalla Yalla Bakery and Restaurant at 7800 Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights, has watched his Mediterranean restaurant business steadily grow since he opened in 2018, while continuing to rent out his adjacent commercial commissary kitchen to multiple users on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
On any given day in the busy Citrus Heights kitchen, chefs of Vegan Circus, which sells vegan carnival food in its own mobile food truck, will be busily preparing its entrées, while the staff of Amore Eats can be seen making their handmade pastas and hand-stretched, Neopolitan-style pizza for pending delivery or local pickup. Another commercial kitchen user, on a different day, utilizes the kitchen to make gourmet dog treats.
On one side of a stainless-steel kitchen counter, Wendy Cooper, owner of Cooper’s Clean Eats, busily prepared shrimp scampi for upcoming orders, as chef-owner Jacob Thompson of Amore Eats assembled a tiramisu dessert.
“We have a great relationship with Alan (Liddawi),” Cooper said. “He’s been a phenomenal business partner to work with.”
Thompson’s Amore Eats is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 am to 9 pm and Saturdays from 4 to 9 pm. “Our business is growing,” he said.
“We’ve experienced incredible growth,” Liddawi said, since renting out the kitchen to outside users.” Liddawi said the recent success of the Sunrise Boulevard location led him to build out a 4,500-square-foot commissary/commercial kitchen space at 5800 Madison Ave in Carmichael which will open soon.
“I’m excited to expand to the Carmichael location, and welcome Delana Treadway to manage it,” Liddawi said.
Recently featured in an ABC-10 television news spot, Treadway, a single parent who owns a self-sustaining, five-acre farm, will manage use of the location and The Ranch Girl Friday, her own catering business from the new Carmichael location.
Using local ingredients, Treadway makes gourmet BBQ for delivery. The Amador County barbecue caterer specializes in local farm to fork barbecue. She wants to bring a taste of something she says the area hasn’t seen before.
“My catering business has gone crazy,” Treadway said. “I’ve seen a 50 percent [increase] in my local business in just this year.”
While she has catering events scheduled through October, Treadway is taking a temporary pause to help Liddawi manage and market the new Carmichael commercial commissary/kitchen to new users.
Installation crews were in the process of setting up new kitchen counters, preparation tables, shelf storage and commercial refrigerators while Treadway took time for an interview.
She said she’s excited to welcome the public to an open-house special event in the parking lot showcasing her own BBQ dishes once the Madison Avenue kitchen opens later this month.
Ovens, coolers and freezers, dough mixers, stoves, a professional-grade juicer, and barbecue grill were in the process of being installed. The location also features bulk shelf or pallet food storage, cold, frozen, and dry storage.
“There’s nothing quite commercially available like this facility in the area,” Treadway explained. “It’s really going to take off, once potential users discover it, and all that it has to offer.”
Liddawi expects to see a return on investment in his new Carmichael space which is more than double the size of his Citrus Heights commercial kitchen. The location, ideal to the needs of an individual chef, baker, caterer, Farmer’s market food vendors or a food truck owner who needs a well-appointed kitchen space with modern equipment to handle timely food preparation.
Amore Eats specializes in California Italian cuisine. For catering information, call 916-201-2109 for business hours and information. View a sample menu at: www.amoreeats.com/
Cooper’s Clean Eats delivers in the greater Sacramento area including Rocklin, Roseville, Folsom, and El Dorado Hills. Orders are prepared and delivered once a week, on Mondays. Visit: https://cooperscleaneats.com/ for ordering information
Call Alan Liddawi, owner of the Yalla Yalla Bakery and Restaurant at 7800 Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights at 916-560-8228 for rental information or visit: www.ghostkitchen4rent.com for further details.