LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Independent Business Association, known as LIBA, is widening its scope to include the South and West ends.
LIBA surveyed zip codes across the city, and when they asked what type of business people would like to see more of in South Louisville, more than 70% said restaurants and food.
For several years, the non-profit organization has focused on the Highlands, so seeing a brand new local business on Woodlawn Avenue in Beechmont is a step in a new direction.
"I still have pictures in my phone, and I cannot believe it," Bipin Kachhadiya said. "How it was very messy and they had tires everywhere in the parking lot."
Kachhadiya and his family transformed the building that used to be an auto mechanic shop and started selling fresh fruit popsicles in April.
He is from India, has lived in Louisville for years, and now owns Cocoberry Pops.
"We tried all the recipes at home," Kachhadiya said.
Kachhadiya said working in a commercial kitchen or shared space would have been helpful for networking.
"Yea, like for sharing knowledge," he said.
LIBA is leading a project that will leverage the knowledge from current business owners to connect prospective entrepreneurs with start-up resources, like a commercial kitchen.
"Louisville is a foodie town, so how do we build on the synergy and the demands that are there and help local businesses at the same time," Charles Booker, LIBA's Neighborhood Initiatives Manager for South and West Louisville, said.
LIBA wants to grow the food scene in both the South and West ends of the city.
"How do we innovate from within," Booker said. "How do we use what we already have to partner together and help local businesses grow."
LIBA is asking those who have commercial kitchens to partner with them to bring attention to spaces that could help entrepreneurs like Kachhadiya start new businesses.
"I am really excited to see what we can do," Booker said. "Places that were once abandoned, were once eyesores, can be rehabbed and be reimagined and become opportunities for growth."
To get more information on LIBA's latest initiative or to join the commercial kitchen listing, click here.