by Noel Cody, Riverwalk Lawrence
After a successful year in the Revolving Test Kitchen at Riverwalk, chef Ray Gonzalez has officially opened his own restaurant in a new Lawrence location, 197 Parker Street.
The borinquen taqueria, CocoRay’s, was the first restaurant to serve in the Revolving Test Kitchen, a collaboration between Lupoli Companies, the City of Lawrence, The Lawrence Partnership and Northern Essex Community College (NECC). “We are really excited for Ray,” says Sal Lupoli, President and CEO of Lupoli Companies. “CocoRay’s is a great example of how this program gives food entrepreneurs the guidance and tools they need to succeed on their own. And it is a tribute to the dedicated people across every organization who help these individuals achieve their goals.
Ray Gonzalez was able to expand his business and plan for long-term growth due in part to the resources he received as part of this program. “This has been a life changing opportunity for me and my family and I am so grateful,” says CocoRay’s Owner, Ray Gonzalez. “Not many startup businesses have a built-in team that supports and advises them every step of the way. Thanks to this program I can take the next step in my career and open my own restaurant in a permanent location.”
The new design aesthetic features a modern industrial look that is inviting for customers and provides diners with a truly unique experience. The menu still features all of the favorites from CocoRay’s previous location, like tacos, burritos and quesadillas, but Ray has added new Puerto Rican dishes and more vegetarian and vegan fare. Plus, they will be serving real fruit smoothies, with no sugar added.