After working in hospitality for nearly two decades, the COVID-19 pandemic propelled Armando Cabral into a life-changing moment. His dad was sick with the coronavirus, and the experience had him reflecting on his life choices and whether he was really doing what would make him happy. So, he quit his job as Director of Hospitality at a luxury winery, took a week off to think about next steps, and came up with the idea for Graze Provisions.
Armando acted quickly, pulling money from his savings and starting operations out of his home. Graze Provisions specializes in luxury grazing trays, boards and tables. Each grazing board is custom-made, and his services are often used by local wineries and for picnics, birthday celebrations, date nights and other social gatherings.
“I looked around the City and thought, ‘I don’t think there’s anything out there like what I have in mind,’” Armando said.
As he expanded his business, Armando outgrew the limited space at home and began looking into the costs to start a brick-and-mortar operation. Discouraged by the lack of available space and high cost, he started searching for cost-effective alternatives and found Spork Kitchens.
Co-owned by Sandy Sauter and Brad Gates, Spork Kitchens is a commissary kitchen—a type of certified space where members can rent kitchen time and equipment. Commissary kitchens provide a professional environment to prepare culinary creations, without the high cost of having your own space.
“It was easy to get set up. Brad was super helpful and willing to provide support and guide me through the process. I started with just a few hours a week, and now I go in every day,” Armando said. “Spork Kitchens is kind of the perfect situation for me right now: I have no overhead and I get to network with other businesses at Spork. Nova Terra is a vegan creamery who works out of Spork and I use their products on my boards. It’s like a dance with the other tenants there—you help me, I help you!”
While Armando dreams of one day having his own brick-and-mortar kitchen in Napa, Spork Kitchens has provided the perfect space for his business to grow. His advice for anyone with an idea for a new business: “Follow your heart; if you have an idea, go for it and work toward it.”
Learn more about Graze Provisions online or reach out to Armando at [email protected].