Since it’s inception in 2016, The Comal Heritage Food Incubator has been investing in the future of immigrant and refugee women in our community. The website shares the inspiration behind their name:

el comal (el koh-mahl)

noun, singular

“A smooth, flat griddle typically used in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America to cook tortillas & arepas, sear meat, and generally prepare food. It is known to be the hearth of a family’s kitchen.”

Comal was birthed when the Focus Points Family Resource Center identified a need for economic opportunity in our community impacted by gentrification. The program provides 24-36 months of training following an “earn while you learn” model. This means each person is investing in their brand and future while earning a stipend to help with the cost of training and life expenses. The model is flexible, allowing the ability to juggle work and home with more ease. Participants come from all cultural backgrounds and are encouraged to test their heritage recipes with the goal of developing a “restaurant owner” mindset. Per their website, Comal has graduated 40 people from their program and helped to launch 6 new businesses.

Along with classroom education once a week, part of the training includes running the restaurant side of Comal. Their public-facing restaurant is located in the RiNo Neighborhood at 1950 35th Street in Denver. Everything on the menu is made from scratch and while more dominantly Mexican, includes cultural representation of all chefs involved. Michel Sohai started as a volunteer and is now the front-of-house specialist at the Comal Heritage Food Incubator and has been with the Comal for the past 8 years on and off. Chef Maricela runs the back of the house and prepared a few samples of menu items to try on air including sliders, mini breakfast burritos, and mini quesadillas. Both Michel and Maricela joined us on Eats & Beats to share more about this entrepreneurial opportunity! More details can be found at Comal Denver

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Photo Credit: Photos courtesy of The Comal Heritage Food Incubator

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