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Ready to take off - CocoRay's owner set to leave 'incubator' and strike out on his own

by Lisa Kashinsky, Eagle Tribune

Raymond Gonzalez already knew how to serve up a delectable taco, but he didn't know much about keeping a payroll.

For years, Gonzalez had treated Lawrencians to tacos and tostadas made fresh out of his roaming food truck, CocoRay's. He dreamed of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant, but didn't have the resources for it.

That changed last year when several community leaders and institutions came together through the Lawrence Partnership to form the Revolving Test Kitchen, a new project to give local entrepreneurs the chance to test out their concepts in a real restaurant setting.

Last December, the test kitchen opened its doors at 420 Common St. in Lawrence with Gonzalez as its first tenant. In the nine months since, Gonzalez has learned everything from operating a point of sale system, to keeping inventory, to doing taxes, all while experimenting with and expanding his menu.

“I'm very appreciative of this, definitely,” Gonzalez said, on a break from work at the test kitchen on Tuesday. “I'm blessed.”


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