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Small Biz Spotlight: Core Kitchen in Oakland, CA

Core Kitchen is the world’s first produce only kitchen located in downtown Oakland. A hundred percent of ingredients used are organic, gluten-free and without salt, sugar, flour and oil…and it still tastes incredible! I sat down with owner, Corey Rennell to chat about all things organic, vegan, healthy and of course Oakland.

Yelp small business Core Kitchen

Why did you decide to start your business? Tell us your backstory!

We started CORE Kitchen to create a place where anyone can come in, eat anything they want, and only get healthier. That’s why we created the world’s first produce-only menu. Every single ingredient we use starts as a whole fruit or vegetable in our kitchen–even our coconut sauce is made from fresh coconuts we crack!

Why do you love doing business here in Oakland and the Bay Area?

Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in America and diversity is at the heart of our bright future. The Bay Area has always been a melting pot of hope and innovation–and matched with California’s amazing array of fresh produce, we are the capital of the healthy food movement!

What’s the most helpful piece of customer feedback you’ve received?

Our menu is so innovative, our restaurant essentially functions as a test kitchen. Our customers are constantly telling us what they like and don’t like and our yelp reviews are the main tool we use to improve our menu. We take the menu items that are the most popular in our restaurant, like our CORE Meals, CORE Granola, and CORE Tonics we distribute nationally into grocery stores like Whole Foods. Our customers are the thought leaders of our food movement!

What’s your advice for other business owners or someone who wants to start a small business?

Be your own customer first! Every day ask yourself if you are making something that you love. The world needs more honesty, more vulnerability, more passion, and more heart. It’s going to feel hard sometimes…you’ll be tempted to cut an easy corner. But nothing easy has ever been rewarding. Choose the path that makes the most difference!

Behind every business is a great story. Download the Yelp mobile app to find a great business in your area. Business owners, share your story on your Yelp listing by using the free tools at biz.yelp.com.