SA Culinary Entrepreneur, Elizabeth Bolger Paprocki Who Owns ‘Kitchen at the CO-OP’, Gets a Helping Hand from the CO-OP SA
Elizabeth Bolger Paprocki, an SA Culinary Entrepreneur in San Antonio, received help opening her business ‘Kitchen at the CO-OP’ from the CO-OP SA, a one-stop-shop for culinary entrepreneurs. Elizabeth, a savvy business owner, opened Kitchen at the CO-OP in June of 2021. Around this time last year she also became the General Manager of The CO-OP SA, which is owned by husband, Stephen Paprocki. Some may consider this duo one of the longest-running power couples in San Antonio’s expanding culinary industry.
Culinary Entrepreneurs at the CO-OP SA
Elizabeth refers to The CO-OP SA as a “culinary incubator” or a one-stop-shop for culinary entrepreneurs, made up of some of San Antonio’s top independent food-related businesses, chefs and companies that support them, including What The Waffle, Everything and the Kitchen Sink, Ancient Heirlooms, Quali-tees, Rebel Food Provisions, We Dip, Get Iced, The Branded Cow, DJAAMS SA, Los Hombres, TJ’s Louisiana Cuisine, Speakeasy Bakery, Texas Black Gold Garlic, Deep River Specialty Foods, The Beignet Stand, Pharma from the Farm, Be Happy Meals, Kitchen at the Co-Op, Dip Shack, Fidler Marketing, Health Bombz, Namaste Chill and Grill, Texas Prime Catering, Huftgold, Lara’s Smoky Mexi-Que, HTea0 Truck, Laika Cheesecake and the nonprofit Chef Cooperatives, with even more on the way and yet even more spaces available.
Woman Entrepreneur is Shaping SA’s Culinary Landscape
“Liz has a huge passion for people and helping them achieve their success. She’s a big cheerleader for other companies, advising them and helping them grow. She is able to consult on licensing, next steps and different opportunities for funding. She has created such a positive environment for entrepreneurs, and it’s a joy to be around her energetic spirit and drive,” says Tiffany Arredondo-Feeney, founder of Be Happy Meals.
Elizabeth has been working around the clock to make The CO-OP SA San Antonio’s number one facility and resource for the culinary industry, her Kitchen at the Co-Op is available for rent. Currently, it features three mirrored stations complete with a full-size convection oven, electric stove top, tilt skillet, blast chiller, miscellaneous small equipment and wares. She also hopes to open an additional commercial kitchen/prep facility and tasting room in the very near future.
The Kitchen is housed in a built-to-spec space in 23k+ overall square feet of the facility, operated by The CO-OP SA on the northeast side of town and has continued to grow at a rapid pace, fulfilling the needs of local culinary entrepreneurs, from food trucks to large production kitchens. The Co-Op SA is also an approved food truck commissary by the City of San Antonio.
“We can help guide these entrepreneurs as they navigate through this often-complex industry, whether they require state licensing, city metro health permitting or want to start with a small kitchen or food truck. I have researched much of the hard to find information and have compiled it to make it easily available,” says Elizabeth.
When asked how she juggles everything, Elizabeth explains that she doesn’t sleep, and she means it quite literally. She starts her day at 7 am and is usually burning the midnight oil.
“I’m happy about the progress The CO-OP has made in a relatively short period of time. We knew there was a need for the comprehensive offerings we provide culinary entrepreneurs, but we had no idea there would be such a great demand. We literally can’t expand fast enough,” says Elizabeth. “It makes me really proud of our culinary industry and artisan food manufacturing businesses here in San Antonio. We’re always considered a slow city, but I think in this arena we’re holding our own.”
Texas Black Gold Garlic & Pharma from the Farm
Chef Cooperatives Nonprofit Helps Local Farmers/Ranchers
Additionally, she’s always been an integral part of any event put on by the nonprofit, Chef Cooperatives, which raises funds for local farmers and ranchers through pop-up events, as well as provides a network of services and support during times of crisis, such as Hurricane Harvey. They were first on the scene in Victoria to help out the community and feed thousands of people during that time.
“I don’t think I could have done any of this without Liz by my side, at least not as successfully. She’s one of the smartest, hardworking and effective people I know in our world,” says Stephen Paprocki. “And now that women in our industry are finally getting the recognition they so thoroughly deserve, I’m just proud to see her shine and look forward to what we’re going to create in the next 10 years.”
MORE ABOUT THE CO-OP’S OFFERINGS
Both established and up-and-coming entrepreneurs are encouraged to take advantage of their services, including the Kitchen, Cooler Storage, Freezer Storage, Office Space, Dry Storage, Food Truck Commissary Kitchen, Food Truck Plug-In and an Art Space with infinity walls, perfect for photo and video shoots.
The CO-OP SA is offering lower pricing to food companies than any other facility in town, including $16-$25/hour for use of Kitchen at the Co-Op and $175 for a notarized commissary letter for food trucks. For a complete list of services and opportunities along with pricing, interested parties can visit thecoopsa.com for details.
Importantly, The CO-OP SA offers a free onsite mentorship program called Beyond Break Fast & Launch, which is endorsed by the established culinary business incubator, Break Fast & Launch. Fledgling food business entrepreneurs can sign up via the website for one-on-ones with any of the The CO-OP members, a truly unique and valuable opportunity in the Alamo City.
More Information on The CO-OP SA