Alyssa and Andrew Wilen’s business, Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen, has come a long way from the small space where they started at Atherton Market. Next spring, they’re going even bigger, with a move to the new Bowers project at 4001 Yancey Road, next to Artisanal Brewing Ventures.
Andrew Wilen says the new space will have 3,380 square feet, including a second classroom for their specialized cooking workshops and kids’ cooking camps, and a commercial kitchen where they’ll be able to add a line of office lunches for pickup or delivery to businesses in the area. They’re also working on adding two more condiments to the line of condiments they released last winter.
The packaged lunches will be for orders of four or more, with a focus on healthful wraps, salads and bowls that are mostly gluten-free with vegetarian options. They’ll continue to buy from local farms for most of their ingredients.
“Really, how Alyssa likes to cook for herself,” he said. “Modern Southern and American with Mediterranean, Spanish and Moroccan influences.”
Bowers is what White Point Partners calls “adaptive re-use,” making use of older industrial buildings for new businesses. The building housed the family-owned Bowers Fibers for more than 70 years.
Wilen said that’s part of what appeals to them about the project. The building has lots of exposed brick, high ceilings and open-air spaces. Located at the intersection of Yancey and Old Pineville Road, it’s just south of the Scaleybark light-rail station.
After being one of the anchors at the Atherton Market, they moved with it recently to the Atherton Mill building. They’ll stay there until next spring, Wilen said.
“It was such a great place to start,” he says. “It was such a shared space and shared community.”