A New Urban Eatery

Bixby Knolls, Long Beach

Client Impact:
Obtained $150k loan
Started eight new businesses
Created 60 new jobs

When Kimberly Gros first visited the SBDC in 2014 for assistance, she had the idea of repurposing a shipping container to house a counter-service ice cream shop in downtown Long Beach. After consulting with the SBDC and revising her initial projections for the project, Gros quickly recognized an opportunity in housing multiple vendors in one space as opposed to a single vendor. She began to reimagine her vision and ultimately arrived at the idea of repurposing several shipping containers that would each house artisan food vendors, which could convene the community through craft food and drinks.

The SBDC helped Kim with her financial projections, her lease agreements for her vendors, and in obtaining a loan for the project. In addition, the SBDC consultants introduced her to several public officials who offered support and guidance with regulations along the way.

After more than two years of planning and development, Kim Gros and her partner in the project, Martin Howard from Howard CDM, who provided the land and contracting services for SteelCraft launched the project in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. The SBDC presented SteelCraft’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on February 2, 2017 which included special remarks from Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Council member Roberto Uranga representatives from the offices of Congressman Alan Lowenthal and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell. For more information, please visit or follow SteelCraft on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Yelp at @SteelCraftLB.

Get a taste of SteelCraft’s Vendors:

Pig Pen Delicacy – Originating in Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market, Pig Pen Delicacy is a burger joint that serves classic comfort food with a modern twist; their specialization in pork offers an array of bacon and other pork favorites.

Tajima Ramen – Based in San Diego, Tajima Ramen delivers authentic Japanese ramen in a range of flavors, each kind in its unique broth. It is the first ramen shop to open in Long Beach, introducing this unique noodle soup to locals.

Smog City Brewing – The family behind Smog City Brewery focuses on creating and distributing exceptional beers. The head brewmaster, Jonathan Porter has been awarded 3 Beer Festival medals.

Waffle Love – These Belgian liege waffles are made with fresh dough rolled in imported Belgian Pearl Sugar. Started as a food truck, it has been featured in Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” and has since expanded to four locations.

Desano Pizza Bakery – Strictly follows the centuries-old craft of Neapolitan pizza making. Their ingredients are imported from Italy, the dough is hand-kneaded, and the Pizzaiolas are highly skilled, creating a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

Lovesome Chocolates – This pop up shop serves artisanal dark chocolate sweets made with the finest ingredients specializing in a range of chocolate confections with spicy, savory, sweet and floral flavors.

Steelhead Coffee – Steelhead Coffee offers gourmet coffee and a selection of pastries.

The Fresh Shave – The Fresh Shave is a healthy version of Hawaii’s most famous treat; they make their syrups in-house to complement their hand cranked ice. The shop is barbershop themed, with each flavor named after a mustache style.

Looking to start or grow your business?

We at the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC, are here to help you with every aspect of your business to help it grow and become successful.
Give us a call at 1-800-616-7232 or schedule a quick, 15-minute intake appointment at to see how we can help you start, grow, and succeed.


Mike Daniel is the network director of the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC Network, which assists aspiring entrepreneurs and current business owners throughout Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Mike was formerly the director of the SBDC office at Long Beach City College. As business owner and entrepreneur himself, he started his career as the owner of a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory location in Manhattan Beach and went on to open a second location in Long Beach in 2001. In 2007, Mike sold the Manhattan Beach store for an above-market offer then invested in several additional locations as a minority shareholder. Mike further expanded his candy empire with venture located in Shoreline Village in Long Beach called Sugar Daddies Sweet Shoppe, based on fill-it yourself candy options.

Mike has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton.