Revolving Test Kitchen Announces NEW Restaurant
After a successful year in the Revolving Test Kitchen, the current tenant chef Raymond Gonzalez is ready to pay it forward by passing this incredible experience on to one of the many applicants vying to move into the downtown Lawrence location.
Through a collaboration between Lupoli Companies, the city of Lawrence, The Lawrence Partnership and Northern Essex Community College (NECC), the Revolving Test Kitchen (RTK) “is the only program of its kind that provides entrepreneurs with a realistic trial run of their ventures by giving them key tools to launch their careers” said Sal Lupoli, President and CEO of Lupoli Companies.
The first local business to operate out of RTK was the taqueria borinquen, Coco Ray’s. "It was a life-changing experience, and I am grateful to Sal Lupoli and the Lawrence community for the continued guidance and support they have shown," says restaurant owner Raymond Gonzalez. "Thanks to this program, I can finally achieve my longtime goal of opening a brick-and-mortar location in Lawrence.”
The new restaurant start-up to benefit from the program is El Encanto BBQ, created by father and son, Hilton and Danny Torres. With 35 years of combined culinary experience, their varied menu features a fresh fusion of Puerto Rican classics and BBQ favorites with a future plan to bottle and market their signature line of BBQ sauces. “This is an incredibly meaningful opportunity for my family,” said co-owner Danny Torres. “My father and I cannot wait to begin this next chapter at The Revolving Test Kitchen where I will be able to grow as an entrepreneur and really be successful. I am grateful to all those involved who made this happen.” Sal also has high hopes for El Encanto BBQ, “We are extremely proud of Ray’s success, and we cannot wait to see the positive impact RTK has on Hilton and Danny Torres. Innovative programs like this not only benefit the participants, but are crucial to fueling Lawrence’s economic growth.”
Citing RTK as a perfect example of what can happen when civic, for profit, and non-profit leaders come together for the betterment of the community, Lawrence Mayor, Dan Rivera, goes on to say, “Coco Ray’s showed us that this model of allowing an aspiring entrepreneur to pursue their dreams with the support of the partners can lead to great success. We look forward to seeing the new tenant, El Encanto, have the same level of success and be part of the effort to Make Lawrence Better.” And Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex Community College agrees, echoing the Mayor’s sentiment, “Northern Essex is so proud to be a part of this partnership. We’re helping launch new businesses in Lawrence, and providing delicious food options for our faculty, staff, and students and the community.” He says, “I’ve enjoyed Coco Ray’s tacos and I’m looking forward to El Encanto’s Puerto Rican classics and barbeque.”
Check back here to see when Hilton and Danny will open their doors, so you can get the first taste of their mouthwatering empanadas and Rellenos de Papa featuring their signature sauce!