Kerri Garcia is flying the coop, so to speak, as she gets set to move her Keto On with Kerri business into its own storefront at 619 N. Rock Road (the old Taco Bell location) later this month.
Having started selling her products at The COOP cooperative bakery off Baltimore Avenue, the expanded space quickly became a necessity for Garcia – and having a brick-and-mortar building was always a goal.
“We just outgrew The COOP so fast. We started with three shelves and then quickly grew to two windows and some storage and ended up having to start preordering on my website because we were pushing our limits,” Garcia said. “It got to the point where how we were cooking, I couldn’t produce anymore.”
Along with the stable of ketogenic food items Garcia already offered (i.e., pies, cakes, chaffles, pizzas, premade meals, etc.), the new store opens up an avenue to sell a number of products that Garcia distributes – such as Nat, Nu Skin and more, with plenty of shelf space at the new location for “anything and everything that’s keto-related.”
Garcia also plans to offer products from other health-oriented food businesses at her store, including Perfect Plate and Nice Bites. In conjunction, Perfect Plate’s location in Maize will also stock a number of Keto On with Kerri products.
“I want this to be the health and nutrition to-go [spot] for people who have that specific allergen that is hard to find,” Garcia said of the overall theme of the new store – which will have a drive-thru for pick-up orders.
On top of the partnerships, Garcia is extending her own line of products as well in anticipation of the new store opening, introducing bierocks to the mix.
“Bierocks is something new that we started a few months ago – beef bierocks and then we made a breakfast bierock – and they flew off the shelves,” Garcia said.
Currently, she said she is experimenting with other varieties like chorizo, pizza and reuben. Additionally, while coffee and tea will be offered for free with meals, Keto On with Kerri’s store will sell keto-based cream soda drinks behind the counter.
Having a kitchen on site at the new store will also allow Garcia to have daily specials – like chicken salad-stuffed avocados – Monday through Friday, which will be noted on an electronic display board. A limited amount will be available, but Garcia will continue to sell her refrigerated premade meals as well, which customers can reheat themselves at the store.
Given the additional seating and space, Keto On with Kerri is also looking to add an educational element at its new storefront on Rock Road.
“We want to extend to where we can start offering classes. We have plenty of seating space to where we can do that and we can start offering classes for people to learn the keto lifestyle,” Garcia said. “I’ve been doing keto for almost three years, so I have enough knowledge under my belt that I can help people learn what keto is and what those requirements are.”
Located across from Derby High School, Garcia also noted the store will have a give back board to help students and act as another educational element about healthy eating.
Up to eight employees, Garcia hopes Keto On with Kerri will continue to grow. After opening her new store, she hopes to take the keto mission mobile and provide that option through catering and even shipping outside the area given the distance hurdle presented for some customers.
“We’re hoping at some point in time we can get to a distribution base and do that because we get people every day from other states who ask for our services,” Garcia said.
Keto On with Kerri will be open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. A grand opening – with samples to be offered – is planned for July 16.