El Alba’s mission is to support, incubate, and nourish Aurora-based food entrepreneurs and small business owners. It offers culturally appropriate business incubation, shared business services via a co-op model, and shared access to a commercial kitchen and food truck to economically disadvantaged business owners.
El Alba’s Board of Directors is working with key collaborators a commissary kitchen that will be able to host 12-15 caterers. One of the benefits El Alba Cooperative members receive is full access to schedule hours in their own commissary kitchen. This kitchen provides resources including catering and cooking equipment that allows start-up food service businesses to thrive. Non-members can also request to book time as available.
El Alba also provides members with money generating opportunities through a food truck and vendor contracts. The food truck provides a venue for co-op members to sell their products. Co-op members utilize it for community events, on evenings and weekends, and are able to take it to various locations. El Alba also has agreements with Anschutz Medical Campus, Children’s Hospital, Children’s Health Pavilion, Mullen High School, University of Denver, The Fax Partnership and the City of Aurora where El Alba members sell their food on set days throughout the month.
El Alba Cooperative’s entrepreneurs provide a diverse set of cuisine options for any gathering of friends, family, business, or work events in Aurora and the Denver Metro Area. Catering services are available for groups from 10 people to 3,000 people.
Over the past several years, North Aurora has seen rapid growth and changes leading to an increase in demand for catering and food services. In 2017, El Alba Cooperative grew out of conversations between community members and leaders with the goal of ensuring that Aurora residents, especially immigrants and refugees, are able to benefit from this growth. In 2018, El Alba began to coordinate trainings for small business owners who face cultural and linguistic barriers to entrepreneurship. Since then, El Alba has continued to support local entrepreneurs by providing tools and resources that allow food service businesses to prosper.
El Alba represents a powerful alternative to current norms of economic development and combats harmful gentrification of North Aurora. Worker-owned cooperative businesses are widely recognized as a powerful model that supports community wealth building and economic stability. By combating gentrification and creating economic opportunities for current residents, El Alba is preserving the rich diversity of Aurora and building wealth in immigrant and refugee communities. If you are interested in partnering with El Alba in this work or would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to reach out via the “Contact Us” page.