Someone once said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Fortunate are those who actually get to live out their lives this way. With hard work, perseverance, and at times a little bit of risk, the idea of waking up and going to work will never phase you again. For Cincinnati-native, Della Heiman, turning her creative ideas into a business finally became a reality.
The Wynwood Yard is a new hub of the food and culture in Miami. The food yard, events-and-live-music venue, and all-day hangout space bring locals odds and ends of food, fitness, music and other cultural activities. Coming from a collaboration including Heiman herself, The Yard has quickly become one of Midtown’s most esteemed joints in defiance of only being a year old; and my, what a year it has been. Having attended and graduated from business school in Boston, Della wanted to break the mold of the culinary world and give it a new taste (no pun intended). She moved to Miami in 2014 after having lived in gems like Mexico, Israel, Peru and countless others many only dreams of exploring. Heiman moved to Miami because she was magnetized by the entrepreneurial ecosystem and inspired by the potential of opening a business in our Magic City.
“I quickly realized that it would be difficult to launch a brick and mortar restaurant in Miami because of the competitive real estate market and the unreasonable terms given to first-time entrepreneurs. After seven months of searching, I stumbled upon four vacant lots owned by developer David Lombardi. David’s support of the vision and excitement about the potential of concept gave me the confidence to launch The Wynwood Yard. I was drawn to Miami and this felt like it was the right place to launch a healthy, approachable, fast-casual restaurant like Della Test Kitchen. But it seemed at one point like that wasn’t going to happen. Things only started to come together once I opened my mind to the possibility of a more creative, iterative, and community-oriented business model.”
Della was quite nervous about the vacant lot Lombardi had shown her in an unconventional yet quaint little neighborhood with graffiti art all over its walls. “I decided to give it a shot because I realized there were other food entrepreneurs in the same position as me, who needed a space to launch their ventures. I hadn’t originally planned on starting Della in this neighborhood because I thought the foot traffic wasn’t there, but I trusted David’s judgment. There were so many challenges to get The Wynwood Yard open, but from day one, the neighborhood proved itself the right place to be because of all of the community support we received.” In order for this venture to longer just be an idea in her head but an actualization, Della decided to move closer to the lot and become a resident of this erratic community. “I had to really start thinking out of the box for this project so being physically closer to it helped a lot more.”
Slowly but surely, Heiman’s ideas were perfectly coming together like puzzle pieces. Creating something special and one-of-a-kind was no longer a goal or an idea but an accomplishment. The Wynwood Yard was born a year after arriving in Miami and Della has been blown away by the reception she’s acquired. “I find Miami to be one of the most surprising and absolutely inspiring cities on this planet. I don’t know if I would have found the same kind of appreciation for the Yard somewhere else like I’ve gotten it here. It’s been such an incredible experience having locals take notice of the constant changes and embracing The Wynwood Yard. It feels amazing to be able to experiment and create with my talented team and our resident entrepreneurs.”
So, what’s next for the Wynwood Yard? Starting November 17th, in gratitude to the community, it will celebrate its one year anniversary and all of the exciting new changes to come, with a weekend-long extravaganza that will include live music, special food, drink surprises, and nods to some of the best events at The Yard this past year.
Della Heiman is thrilled to announce the exciting expansion of the adjoining lot which will include a more spacious, sprawling garden area surrounding a communal dining space, space for additional new concepts (both food and otherwise) and The Wynwood Yard’s first full-service restaurant. With 7 new culinary concepts, bringing the total to 14 business concepts showcasing their own ventures. A brand new and much larger garden by Little River Cooperative will anchor the vibrant outdoor space and will serve current and new tenants at The Wynwood Yard with its bountiful harvest. The garden will also serve educational purposes by showcasing sustainable, organic growing techniques in an urban setting — becoming the home to urban farming classes, floral and art workshops, cooking classes, chef demos and farm-to-table community dinners.
Another new addition to the list is Charcoal Garden Bar & Grill will be the first full-service restaurant at The Yard and the first in Miami to be built entirely out of modified shipping containers – Charcoal Garden Bar & Grill. The brainchild of veteran Miami Chef Ken Lyon, Charcoal Garden Bar & Grill will offer a warm, welcoming environment with its simple, but elegantly prepared, “analog” menu, which rotates twice per season. Fully open in early Dec. 2016, Charcoal Garden Bar + Grill will offer tastes in the weeks before, including the one-year anniversary celebration being held Friday, November 18th. So mark your calendars, everyone! This event will be one for the books.