While some Bay Area businesses struggle to stay open and hire enough people, a food and business collective in Oakland is growing in what can only be described 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 started the collective at their Adeline Street catering business to help companies like The Final Sauce stay afloat.
“There was nowhere to turn,” said Brownie Sims, co-owner of Final Sauce.
Sims said the COVID-19 recession made it nearly impossible for her and her sister to build their business. Here they turned.
“You can’t be your own cheerleader. You need people who have been in the industry for a long time and then they are in a place where not only is it safe, but you learn,” she added.
Now Free, backed by investment funds from the Oakland Black Business Fund, is increasing the number of startups it is taking in.
“We’re bringing new employees back and allowing the companies based here to grow their businesses and run them with a little mentoring,” Free said.
Like the local Baby Bean Pie store that used to work from home. But now there is a place to cook and sell.
“It actually expanded our business significantly,” said Cakiyyah Shaheed, co-owner of Baby Bean Pie. “So we’ve set days when we’ll actually be in the kitchen and it’s less sporadic. We have a schedule. People know when to come.”
From here dozens of small companies have already been founded collectively.
Final Sauce said it wanted to be one of those in the near future to get its own spot and hire new people in Oakland.