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Holyoke’s Crave Restaurant is Dream Turned Reality

If you mix equal parts courage, hard work and grit with a generous sprinkle of faith, you will get Holyoke entrepreneur Nicole Ortiz, owner of Crave.

Crave, now located at 285 High St., is a restaurant, catering business and mobile food truck offering modern Puerto Rican cuisine that uses fresh, local ingredients.

“We opened our brick-and-mortar restaurant while managing our food truck and catering orders,” Ortiz said. “It’s been wild and a bit of a learning curve, but we’re so happy we’ve been able to expand.”

Creating Crave was Ortiz’s dream, and it became her reality quickly thanks to the MGM Culinary Arts Institute at Holyoke Community College and Holyoke’s EforAll (Entrepreneurship for All) program.

Ortiz attended a pitch contest for her business idea in the summer of 2019 and won first prize. With her $1,000 prize money, she created a “pop-up” restaurant at Holyoke Community College.