Ever thought of opening your own restaurant? A new Canadian company named Coho Commissary is pioneering ghost kitchens—professional food preparation and cooking facilities set up for the evergrowing delivery-only meal industry. It’s one of the more creative uses I’ve seen for commercial real estate, with brilliant execution on what looks to be the future of food delivery.
Coho Collective launched its business in March 2020 at the outset of the pandemic, which couldn’t have been a more opportune time as restaurants cratered under government restrictions. The ability to continue serving their customers through alternative means was a priority yet there were limited solutions at the time. Coho’s intention is to support the myriad of outstanding local food startups on a mission to change the world.
They currently have 3 commercial locations with an average facility size of 10,000 sqft and are the biggest ghost kitchen collective by volume in Canada. With roots in Vancouver, they plan on expanding to Gibsons, Victoria, White Rock, and East Vancouver where they claim to have 400 companies on their waitlist. There’s even more interest in Toronto where they received 2,000 signups only from a landing page. You know you’ve hit the nail on the head when demand is that robust prior to launch.
Delivery apps typically operate within a 5km radius, and if a restaurant is not located within these boundaries they are unlikely to be discovered. The major benefit of ghost kitchens is being able to test the market at significantly lower risk, without having to invest in costly infrastructure, sourcing suppliers, leasing facilities, or buying expensive commercial appliances. You can open up shop within a matter of weeks instead of months.
It’s amazing to see when entrepreneurs step up and champion innovation. A similar business that comes to mind, and one I’ve had the pleasure of working with, is Granville Island Delivery Co. Pivoting from Vancouver Foodie Tours, the idea came to fruition as local suppliers on Granville Island were in need of distribution infrastructure to be able to sell their goods as demand ground to a halt. Leveraging technology to support local communities in need is the epitome of entrepreneurial spirit.
Credit: Coho Collective, Vancouver Real Estate Podcast