City of Mesa officials are celebrating the expansion of Intentional Foods, a Dobson-area restaurant catering to people with food allergies.
Intentional Foods, 1837 W. Guadalupe Road Unit No. 103, opened in December 2018. Despite the pandemic’s challenges, the restaurant is now expanding its kitchen and dining room in part thanks to the assistance its owners received through the Mesa CARES program and the city’s Economic Development and Development Services Departments, according to a release.
To mark the occasion, Intentional Foods hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony, open house and tour Nov. 17.
“The first year of any business is critical for its survival. The pandemic hit us as we were trying to get the restaurant going and establish our clientele,” Ned Heath, chef and owner of Intentional Foods, said in the release. “We were fortunate to have the support of the community and the City of Mesa. The City helped us obtain permits for outdoor dining and provided technical assistance for our business. The Mesa CARES program allowed us to continue to operate, stay afloat and later thrive at a time of great uncertainty.”
“This success story is a great example of how city departments work together to provide critical support to Mesa’s small businesses, including overcoming unexpected challenges like those brought on by the pandemic,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said in the release. “It’s exciting to see Intentional Foods on a pathway to success and we can’t wait to see what they do next!”
The city of Mesa launched Mesa CARES in March of last year to assist individuals, families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the federally funded program, Intentional Foods received assistance with signage, personal protective equipment, reimbursement for patio costs and access to the HUUB platform, which provides tactical on-demand solutions, invaluable peer-to-peer groups, funding opportunities and the ability to book on-the-fly sessions with top advisors and consultants. Intentional Foods also received support from the city’s Development Services Department to process permits.
“The story of Intentional Food is a testament to the ingenuity of small business entrepreneurs who adapted to the challenges of COVID-19, so they could continue serving their customers, and ultimately, survive the pandemic,” District 3 Councilmember Francisco Heredia said in the release. “As a small business owner, I am proud to represent the vibrant and diverse small business hub that is District 3.”
The expansion of Intentional Foods comes with a larger kitchen that will allow the restaurant to prepare meals free from the top food allergens to Mesa Public Schools and its growing list of clients. The restaurant now has a liquor license and is serving allergen-free beer, wines and cocktails and will soon open a dining room addition. Earlier this year, Yelp ranked Intentional Foods ninth in its top 100 restaurants to eat in 2021.
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