Bobby’s Bama: Culinary entrepreneurial dreams come true in Shoals

Shoals Commercial Culinary Complex with Entrepreneurial Center
Shoals Commercial Culinary Complex with Entrepreneurial Center

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - Starting a new business can be a daunting task, especially if it is something that involves food.

The Shoals Commercial Culinary Complex is part of the Entrepreneurial Center, a business incubator which helps small businesses get off the ground.  This complex deals strictly with food.

"You've heard people say, 'I've got grandma's recipes or somebody's recipes, everybody loves it - it's great.'  We get those people who come to us and say we want to turn this into a business," said executive director Giles McDaniel.

And there are several businesses that got started there.  They are carefully guided with a business plan, field trials, where to sell it, and more.  And there are a lot of examples of success here.

They can lease the facilities and use tools like a commercial oven which would cost them about $75,000.

This is actually the birthplace of many a small business.

Chef Kevin Kilburn could easily be wearing three hats: teacher, consultant, and new businessman, touting his own brand of chocolates.

"Even though I buy it from the chocolate masters in Belgium, in a raw state, I actually seed it, melt it and temper it here and then we mold it and make our creations here.  People are overwhelmed whenever they find out a product is from their area," said Chef Kevin Kilburn.

He said the business is only three months old, but it's doing very well.  It may be an "infant," but it's growing by leaps and bounds.  A business entrepreneur's dream with a recipe for success in Bobby's Bama.

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