In the heart of Carlsbad’s commercial core, it’s easy to get lost among the sea of office and industrial buildings housing innovative companies performing life changing work. However, you’ll want to make it a point to take time to stop and experience the tasty goodness of the Carlsbad Gateway Center between Palomar Airport Road and Cannon Road.
Carlsbad Gateway Center is home to over 80 small businesses working in diverse fields like technology, life sciences, and sports manufacturing. But it’s the craft food and beverage establishments that make this business park so unique. “As we have evolved over the years, we’ve been observant of trends in the market,” said David Alard, Property Manager at the Center. “Craft food is an important trend in San Diego and we are where people go to find it.”
The Carlsbad Gateway Center has become a popular spot for craft food and beverage artisans to build their business and for the community to shop, eat, and enjoy. Consumers can find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, craft beer, kombucha, gelato, handcrafted salami and natural meats, acai bowls, coffee, bread, and pastries.
Part of the appeal to these artisan food makers is the fact that Carlsbad Gateway Center offers small spaces, flexible zoning, various permitted uses, and affordable rents that allows start-up and incubator businesses to begin without the stress of high overhead. Another factor is the North County location is so close to several of the local farmers and food suppliers who work closely with the artisan food makers, allowing for fresher foods and cheaper shipping charges.
“It’s a community within a community,” said Alard. “These businesses share information with each other.”
Prager Bros., Happy Pantry, Angel’s Salumi & Truffles, Arcana Brewing Company, Choice Juicery, Daily Harvest Express, and Gelato Love are some of the local favorites featured at the Carlsbad Gateway Center.
A Mobile Farmer’s Market
Daily Harvest Express believes Carlsbad is a special place to build a company. Their business, which they call an online and mobile farmer’s market, utilizes their location to work with over 30 local farmers and artisans in the San Diego area. Daily Harvest Express owner and operator, Ivonne Ganss, knows this business model benefits everybody.
“We definitely are at the forefront of change and we feel it and are thankful that we are here,” said Ganss.
“We have made relationships with the local farming community and have helped them grow and feed the area. By us supporting local farmers, it’s one more avenue for them to sell their product outside of the farmer’s market.”
Daily Harvest Express started operating in Encinitas with a farm stand that provided fresh, local fruits and vegetables to the community. From there they saw an opportunity to bring healthy eating to corporate and business clients. They currently bring their mobile farm stand to different office locations throughout San Diego County and provide 28 varieties of local fruits, vegetables, and local products such as oils, breads, eggs, and pastas to employees who can purchase everything from snacks to prepared boxes.
These businesses usually invite Daily Harvest Express to their offices biweekly, monthly, quarterly, or when they are hosting health fairs. Daily Harvest Express also offers companies a “Lunch and Learn” that provides a nutritious meal using their fresh ingredients and insight about how eating local, healthy options improves their health and strengthens local businesses.
Box orders that are posted on Daily Express Harvest’s website every Friday are also available for individual purchases. Each box comes with two recipes that make use of the foods in the order. Daily Harvest Express strives to be a zero-waste business. All excess foods are donated to food banks throughout the county at the end of the week.
Ganss really believes that the Carlsbad community is on the forefront of healthy eating which bodes well for her business. “A lot of people in our community have a pulse on their health. They are informed. There are more businesses offering this type of service because there is a bigger push for it.”
A Healthy Taste of Italy
Italian-born owner of Gelato Love, Paola Richard, moved to Carlsbad after a career as a journalist and marine biologist in Rome to chase the romantic idea that her artisan-crafted gelato would find a following in her adopted city.
It paid off. She now produces 1,000 pounds of the delicious frozen dessert a day, which is delivered throughout San Diego County to specialty stores such as Seaside Market in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
Even with such large batches, Richard said, “It’s still all done by hand.” This includes cutting the fruits that go into each batch. “I want to do it and make it special.”
Gelato Love produces over 150 recipes, featuring 40 flavors daily. In addition to eight variations of chocolate, Gelato Love’s flavors are changed seasonally. Flavors such as gingerbread, peppermint, and eggnog are introduced as the winter holidays approach. Like other North County crafters, Richard gets her ingredients from local farmers whenever she can.
While she uses local flavors, she maintains Italian recipes, some she acquired from the Gelato University in Italy, which teaches students the art of gelato making. “We have a gelato maker from Rome and we come up with new flavors and make up new recipes,” Richard said.
Richard feels it’s important to create a healthy treat that people feel good eating because it reminds her of her Italian culture. “Italians are obsessed with their food. I wanted to design a food that not only tastes good but also feels good. It’s a pleasure to have a single glass of wine or a small dessert. But it has to taste good and be the best.” She feels making a low-calorie dessert gives her customers that feeling of enjoyment when they eat it.
In addition to giving her customers healthy and delicious gelato, Richard hosts gelato-making classes so the community can learn to make it themselves. The Gelato Lab classes are available monthly and are posted on the company’s website.
Like many of her fellow Carlsbad Gateway Center artisans, Richard feels the business park is a “food incubator where top quality food productions are supported by the landlords, who have given us an opportunity to improve our craft and distribute to a wider scale.”
Richard said, “Carlsbad understands they are in a bit of a food revolution. They understand the value of good, healthy food, and can feel good about what is going on the table.”
Like Richard, many artisan chefs welcome guests at their shops at Carlsbad Gateway Center daily. Be sure to pay a visit to the Carlsbad Gateway Center located at 5660 El Camino Real in Carlsbad. There is always plenty of parking.