DER Kitchen

DER Kitchen News

Columbia Fire Department - January 1, 2020

New requirements to be enforced for food trucks operating in the City of Columbia beginning January 1, 2020

Starting next year food trucks conducting business within the capital city will be required to meet new guidelines set by the latest edition of the International Fire Code.

“This initiative by our department will help ensure that all food vendors operating a food truck within the city will be safe while serving their customers,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “Many people love to visit food trucks to grab a quick bite during the workweek or at weekend events. Our goal is to make sure that these vehicles have all the necessary equipment onboard to prevent or mitigate fires and other hazards.”


Columbia Business Report - September 30, 2019

Wine shop Vino Garage to reopen

Staff Report

Cottontown pioneer Vino Garage is reopening, not far from its former home.

Owner Doug Aylard said in an email that the wine shop, which closed last July when Aylard decided not to renew his lease at 2327 Main St., will open its doors again at 2501 Main St., at the corner of Main and Confederate.


The State - July 26, 2016

As SC food entrepreneurs grow, so do commercial kitchens

By Lillia Callum-Penso - The Greenville News

GREENVILLE - On a recent Friday morning, Rachel McAlister is hard at work. She is methodical, carefully forming balls of dough, weighing each into small, flat, pancakes before filling them with a sundried tomato, spinach and feta mix.

The room, a pristine 1,500-square foot kitchen outfitted with industrial size mixer, food processors and a restaurant grade convection oven, is one McAlister, having just launched her food business, The Biologist’s Baker, never would have been able to afford on her own. But luckily, she found Imagine Kitchen.

The commercial kitchen space is available for rent by those who, like McAlister, want to start a food business, providing a fully equipped, and Department of Health and Environmental Control certified space to work.
So called shared use kitchens are certified spaces that are available for rent by the hour, and there are now three in Greenville, one in Fair Play and one in Spartanburg. There’s at least one, DER Kitchen, in Columbia.


The State - February 11, 2016

Chocolate Nirvana finds temporary home

Bakery shop/cafe’s Fort Jackson Boulevard location destroyed in October flooding
Owners temporarily operating out of leased kitchen on Main Street

By Janet Jones Kendall

For two decades, Chocolate Nirvana has been one of Columbia’s go-to shops for decadent treats on Valentine’s Day — and every other day of the year.

“Valentine’s Day has always been one of the busiest times of the year for us,” said general manager Jon Rogers.

This Valentine’s Day, business has “slumped a bit,” Rogers said, as he and owner Phil Waddell are preparing their typically highly demanded treats at 2501 Main St. in a commercial space leased at DER Kitchen. They leased the space after their location at 4405 Fort Jackson Blvd. was damaged in October’s floods.


The Post and Courier - Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Colleton County to open a commercial kitchen for food makers

Hanna Raskin -

"Despite a mixed record of success, more than half of kitchen incubators operate as for-profit enterprises. That’s the model at DER Kitchen, which became the state’s first shared commercial kitchen when it opened three years ago in Columbia. “I owned a building and had an idea,” says owner David Roberts. The number of renters fluctuates, but now stands at around 20. Roberts says the biggest problem he’s encountered is producers failing to stay in business. “We try to get people to plan,” he says, sighing."

The State Newspaper - Saturday, February 10, 2015

Columbia wing truck taking flight on national stage

By Aaron

"An hour and a half after they started selling their stuffed chicken wings in a parking lot on Huger Street Tuesday, the 2 Fat 2 Fly food truck had sold out as customers waited in line for nearly half an hour to get their fill.

2 Fat 2 Fly is a simple idea that has caught fire in the Famously Hot city and is gaining nationwide exposure. Owners Corey Simmons and Ramone Dickerson stuff their chicken wings with savory dishes like jambalaya and mac and cheese and sweet fillings such as strawberry cream cheese and s’mores.

A film crew from ABC’s “The Chew” was in town Tuesday to film the duo preparing and serving lunch for a segment on the food-centered daily talk show. And they have snagged their own eight-episode “docu-series” on the Oprah Winfrey Network, set to premiere at 10 p.m. Feb. 28.


South Carolina Business Review - Thursday, September 04, 2014

Columbia Kitchen Incubator Hits Growth Phase

"The last time we interviewed our next guest, he had just opened a commercial kitchen incubator for food entrepreneurs in Columbia, SC. A year and a half ago, they started with just two customers and now they have more than 50."

Mike Switzer interviews Dave Roberts, founder of the DER Kitchen Incubator in Columbia.

Listen to the show online...

The State Newspaper - Business - Restaurant renaissance - Saturday, July 5, 2014

Columbia’s incubator allows for some inspired kitchen creations


COLUMBIA, SC — For chefs hungry to cut their teeth in the food industry, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars for a government-required commercial-grade kitchen.

But David Roberts, a private consultant and taco cart owner from Columbia, gives people the opportunity to share their dishes on a wider scale for a fraction of the cost.


The State Newspaper - News - Local / Metro - Saturday, Jul. 28, 2012

Incubator kitchen on Main Street fulfilling vendors’ needs


Kenyon Strother, owner of Strother Catering, can’t wait until a new commercial kitchen opens in Columbia.

“I’m trying to get in on the ground floor,” he said. “I want to have as much access to it as I can.”

Dubbed the “incubator kitchen,” the new space, in the 2500 block of Main Street, will provide bakers, food truck operators and caterers like Strother with a pay-by-the-hour base of operations without them having to fork out potentially tens of thousands of dollars for a restaurant or commercial space of their own.


The Free Times - Issue #25.30 :: 07/25/2012 - 07/31/2012

Commercial Kitchen Will Support Food Carts, Caterers

Downtown Barbecue Cart, Taco Cart to Open Soon


Last week, David Roberts was up in Greenville buying kitchenware and supplies for his commercial kitchen, which is set to open for business this week or next.

“I’m not going to try to equip it with every trinket you can buy for the kitchen, but just some basic stuff,” he says by phone.

Dubbed DER Kitchen, the North Main Street facility is just about ready to go; it’s just waiting on inspections by the fire marshal, city officials and DHEC.

Once the kitchen is up and running, chefs, caterers, bakers, street vendors and other food folk will be able to rent time and space there. Roberts says he has about 70 people interested, though he expects that number to shrink once he starts asking for specifics, running credit checks and asking people to sign contracts.


The Free Times - Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Taco Wars


Right across Gervais Street from the capitol, the City of Columbia is locked in a much smaller but oddly parallel battle. Council members and local businesses are fighting over what will happen to a small expanse of sidewalk in front of the 18-story Main & Gervais office tower on the northwest corner of the intersection.

David Roberts wants to put a taco cart there.

Ellyn Season, who’s building a Southwestern restaurant called Taqueria Fever just across Main Street, does not want Roberts to put a taco cart there.