Back in December of 2017, developer Rocco Termini purchased a couple of significant buildings on Chandler Street – 27 and 37, formerly CooCoo U (now on Tonawanda Street) and Horsefeathers Antiques (Owner Hank Sontag passed away) respectively. The two buildings significantly enhance Termini’s real estate portfolio on the south side of Chandler Street, which is suddenly ramping up to be a very exciting destination in Buffalo (see why).
It didn’t take Termini long to figure out what to do with one of the buildings. Moving forward, 27 Chandler (formerly CooCoo U) will become a culinary incubator, featuring 15 professional kitchens, half of which are already spoke for.
Termini says that he has identified a real market need in Buffalo. He feels that there are a number of culinary entrepreneurs and start-ups who don’t have access to proper professional kitchens. Most preparers who do have access to commissary/shared kitchens must share the spaces and the equipment, which means that they can’t always cook when they want to. Chefs are constantly battling it out for space in the kitchens, which hampers their production ability. That’s a real problem for people who are looking to grow their businesses. When it comes to building out a warehouse full of kitchens, there are a number of benefits including storage areas, shared resources, privacy, control over space, bulk ordering, and cooperative advantages.
I asked Termini if he was planning on having a small market inside the building. He told me that he was hoping to have a direct line to Wegmans instead. Of course it would be more beneficial to have access to a shelf or two in a major supermarket, rather than simply selling directly out of a small incubator market. At the same time, it would be amazing to be able to walk into the culinary collective to see how the items are produced, and sample some products at the same time. No matter the angles, this is all very exciting for the Buffalo food scene.
Rocco’s newest enterprise, located within a START-UP NY zone, will be called “Food E” (a witty take on “foodie”).