“Forbidden black coconut rice, marinated kale, raw roots, hickama beets, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato hummus, lentils and adasha which is a local based protein that a local entrepreneur named Taylor Cohen invented – we’re the first restaurant to feature it.”
You ask the woman what her favorite bowl is and she responds with the healthiest mouthful of ingredients you have ever heard, and of course shares the creation of a local entrepreneur like herself. That’s Della Heiman for ya!
Oh wait, do you know Della? Have you heard of The Wynwood Yard? Well, she created the magical space!
“The Wynwood Yard is a culinary incubator for promising food and beverage entrepreneurs to launch their concepts, iterate and be part of a collaborative and supportive community,” says Heiman.
Della was always intrigued by what her parents did running a 3rd generation family business. When asked as a child what she wanted to be when she grew up, Della always new she would be a businesswoman.
“I think the funny part about that, is in my mind, when I said ‘business woman,’ I envisioned a woman in a business suit sitting at a desk talking to people, and now I’m running around all day crawling on the ground, shoveling dirt and picking up trash!”
After Harvard Business School, with a business plan in hand, Heiman came to Miami on a whim and it’s been more incredible then she could have imagined.
“I moved here to open Della Test Kitchen as a brick and mortar space, but real estate is so inflated in Miami, I couldn’t find a space that made economic sense,” recalled Heiman. “So it ended up that I needed to get a little more creative. I had met so many inspiring entrepreneurs along the way that were facing the same barriers to entry that I was, so I decided to change up the model and do this incubator instead. Then I launched the restaurant inside it.”
Along with being an incubator attracting dynamic entrepreneurs in the neighborhood, The Wynwood Yard has become a sort of haven to locals with interests in the arts, food & beverage and fitness industries, and the community has been collaborative in making all of this accessible.
“It’s been incredible to work with so many different people across so many fitness platforms and it’s really unique. Here we do everything from Zumba, to Pilates, to yoga, to hula hooping classes, to runs and it’s all over the map,” boasts Heiman.
“I’ve been really inspired by the generosity of so many instructors and studio owners who just want to give their gift to the community and don’t want to charge anything for it, they just want to give free classes to enhance the community and it’s just the most generous thing ever.”
The Wynwood Yard puts out a calendar monthly with anywhere from 20-30 events a week. If you’re lucky, you may just be around when a high-profile artist like Shakira show’s up.
While strolling through the Yard, you’ll notice a garden tucked away in the back. This is an organic garden curated by the Little River Cooperative then harvested by the Yard, with the produce showing up in your dish when dining at Della’s Test Kitchen or the newest Wynwood Yard resident, Charcoal Bar and Grill.
During her college years, Della had the opportunity to travel abroad living in Mexico, Spain and Chile with families picking up culinary inspiration from each of them.
“I always loved cooking with my mom ever since I was little,” recalls Heiman. “Everything I know about cooking is from spending time with people that have been cooking a certain way for a very long time then learning how they do it and experimenting in my own kitchen.”
And her advice to individuals, like myself, who are so much better at consuming then creating dishing, “don’t be afraid to experiment. I feel like cooking is all about having fun in the kitchen and just enjoying yourself and not worrying about messing up. It’s just food and you can always figure it out.”