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Change in the menu - New entrepreneurs get their shot in test kitchen

By Lisa Kashinsky, Eagle Tribune

In late 2016, Raymond Gonzalez was handed the golden ticket for budding restaurant entrepreneurs: a state-of-the-art kitchen, free of charge, where he could test out running his food truck, CocoRay's, as a brick-and-mortar restaurant.


Gonzalez was the first participant in the Revolving Test Kitchen, an "incubator" project spearheaded by the Lawrence Partnership with help from Sal Lupoli, Northern Essex Community College and city officials to give local entrepreneurs the chance to try their concepts in a real restaurant setting and learn more about business and marketing.


With more than a year of restaurant experience now under his belt, Gonzalez plans to open a brick-and-mortar of his own in South Lawrence in the next few months. A new restaurant will take his place at the test kitchen: El Encanto, a father-son duo who hope to bring traditional Puerto Rican food to the forefront in the city.


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