Community Kitchen

Where Food Meets Community

The Local First Community Kitchen is a collaborative space located near downtown Mesa, Arizona. Our space is designed to help food entrepreneurs grow or establish their business, support resilience in underserved communities and nurture Arizona’s growing culinary economy. We believe that through food, we cultivate inclusive and creative communities for generations to come.



Commercial Kitchen Use

The kitchen is 2,500 square feet and capable of producing large scale catering, preparing for farmers markets, and food trucks without the cost and liability by providing them the necessary tools to be successful.


Community Support

Cooking classes are offered through the Community Kitchen to support the neighborhood kids and families all year long. Our after-school cooking program teaches young chefs how to prepare easy, healthy meals using simple, fresh ingredients.


Restaurant StartUp Bootcamp

The Restaurant Startup Bootcamp is lead by Gabe, Farm to Table Manager and Head Chef. The Bootcamp is a 6-week course designed for food entrepreneurs wanting to start a restaurant or food related venture.

Our Vision

Local First Community Kitchen is a culinary community and innovative space providing business assistance for underserved, aspiring entrepreneurs looking to launch their culinary business and strengthen neighborhoods.
— Gabe Gardner, Community Kitchen Chef & Farm to Table Manager


Commercial Kitchen Use

The Community Kitchen is 2,500 sq. feet and is a full-service kitchen located near the heart of downtown Mesa that is operated by Chef Gabe Gardener. The kitchen is available to use 7 days a week from 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Pricing for commercial kitchen use is $7.50/hr. for the first 12 hours per month and $8/hr. every additional hour.

Kitchen amenities include:

  • Four (4) different types of storage available:

    • Refrigerated, Freezer, Dry Storage and Lockable Storage

  • Two (2) six burner gas stoves

  • Double stack convection ovens

  • Deep fat fryer

  • Six (6) eight foot stainless steel prep areas

  • Complete ware washing stations

  • One (1) 25-seat communal dining table

To reserve our kitchen space or make an appointment for a tour please email Chef Gabe at



Restaurant Startup Boot Camp

Food entrepreneurs interested in starting a business can enter into a 6-week Restaurant Startup Boot Camp program to help jump-start their career and grow their business without the excessive cost and liability in equipping, managing and maintaining your own commercial facility.

Our program provides required industry certifications and food safety classes, in addition to education on business planning, purchasing and how to manage the day-to-day operations.

What You’ll Learn:
- Food Service Purchasing
- Financing and Marketing
- Front and Back of House Relations,
- Food Service Logistics
- Food Establishment Permitting 
- Day-to-Day Operations

Program Cost: $250

For more information or questions, contact: Chef Gabe at


Community Support

Local First Arizona Foundation opened the Community Kitchen in July 2018.  Our space supports the residents in the community and aims to support a healthy and engaged culinary community. Located along the Valley Metro Light Rail, El Rancho del Sol is an affordable housing development that offers high quality of life for its diverse residents. From on-site garden plots to creative after-school programming, El Rancho is steeped in creative ideas to make life better and healthier for everyone.

Cooking classes

Cooking classes are offered through the Community Kitchen for kids and families all year long. Our after-school cooking program teaches children in the community how to prepare easy, healthy meals using simple, fresh ingredients.

Community Garden

El Rancho del Sol residents can grow fresh, local vegetables and herbs in their own community garden. Classes and garden clean-ups are seasonal and a great way to learn about gardening basics and what grows in the desert.

Local First Arizona is thrilled to work on a project at the scale of the Community Kitchen at El Rancho because it embodies a sustainable and more livable future that is inclusive, creative, and alive with hope.
— Kimber Lanning, Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona Foundation.