Brandi NorsbyBrandi Norsby has always had a love affair with the food industry. It all began with her first job at Rosie’s, a truck stop diner in Cameo when she was in high school, and eventually led her to enroll in culinary school. But life, as they say, sometimes gets in the way of dreams, and Brandi had to leave food service and pursue a career in the medical insurance field. For 8 years she worked tirelessly for Kaiser Permanente, leading the team that managed the thousands of accounts in Colorado. But the pandemic and the changes it brought to that field led her out of health care and back to her first love—cooking for others.

She and her husband, Charles, purchased and renovated a food truck. By August 2022 it was up and running on four-wheels, thanks in large part to the Business Incubator Center’s commercial kitchen. For a year, she labored in the food truck, serving what she describes as country diner food to a growing clientele.

Then opportunity came knocking again, this time in the form of a season-long lease to operate the restaurant at Vega Lodge, on the popular boating, camping and fishing destination on the north side of Grand Mesa. It’s one thing to operate a food truck, another to run a restaurant. But she and her husband went for it. There were new skills to master. They had to find and hire a sous chef, for example, and hire and train a wait staff. It was an enjoyable and fruitful experience but it was only for one season.

But a fire had been sparked in Brandi. She loved operating both the food truck and leased restaurant and now, she wanted to own a restaurant. She soon came upon a building for sale in Collbran, a small mountain town close to her heart, and they submitted an offer. Today, 1006 High Street is home to Brandi’s Kitchen, where they’re cooking with love, one plate at a time.

Brandi credits her success to the Business Incubator Center. “I was directed on how to finish what I needed to open and how to make a small business plan. All the little nuances were discussed. Joining gave me access to the commercial kitchen as needed. The Incubator promoted and marketed my little food truck and helped me with spots to park to make myself even more successful. I enjoyed working with the Incubator the entire time I had the food truck.”

The knowledge and resources shared at the Business Incubator establish strong roots. It equips business owners like Brandi with the skills to pursue their dreams. Just ask Brandi when you stop by her kitchen for lunch.