A Flexible Commercial Kitchen is Connecting A Community through Innovation and Strategic Partnerships
e.terra, meaning whole earth, root, beginning, seed to full growth, is more than a Harlem-based flexible commercial kitchen. It is a supportive platform where chefs, bakers, entrepreneurs, and community members are given a space and support to grow and thrive in their business journeys.
The CEO and Co-Founder, Bella Karakis, is a seasoned trademark attorney and food entrepreneur. She also co-founded a DC Metro-based food truck operation, as well as another shared kitchen brand, with multiple locations in DMV/NYC prior to founding e.terra’s flexible commercial kitchen. Currently there are two e.terrra kitchens, both located in Harlem. E.terra kitchens are home to a large variety of kitchen member operations who rent out the space for large-scale food preparation, such as cooking classes, pop-up events, and film production. The Harlem building on 120th and Third Avenue features two state-of-the-art kitchens for members, one of which is a dedicated baker kitchen with a plethora of pastry and baking equipment not commonly found in other shared commercial/ghost kitchens, such as Rational iCombi ovens, a gelato maker, dough sheeter, and two temperature controlled rooms.
The kitchens are designed in an open format to support any size business in their daily growth. Each station can be optimized for different members’ needs, such as large school lunch preparations or film/video/photo shoots. To rent the space for production, prospective members must undergo a screening process, have food handler certifications, and apply for their own Health Department or Agriculture & Markets permits. This ensures there is space available for them with no overlap from other members. E.terra also likes to get an understanding of their members’ needs before renting out the space so they know if any specialized equipment or supplies are needed to satisfy their particular business needs. Currently the two locations are home to over 40 members and a dozen more are expected to be onboarded by the end of the summer.
One of the most unique uses of the space is for documentaries, media interviews, and filming that requires modern, aesthetic, brightly lit kitchen spaces. Just recently, e.terra was rented by Netflix for their “Street Foods USA,” a NYC-based show focused on food truck operations in Harlem.