Cast Iron Group

The Cast Iron Group encompasses a variety of businesses and partnerships with Nick Hawthorne-Johnson and Rochelle Johnson, a husband and wife team based in Durham, NC.  This family of businesses revolves around the love of food, drink, and all that surround it.


PARTNERS: Nick & Rochelle Johnson

The Cookery features a state of the art commercial food production facility and incubation program, in addition to a beautiful event space called the Front Room.


Through our commercial kitchen, we aim to provide the tools, both intellectual and practical, entrepreneurs need to launch a lasting and successful culinary venture. Whether you aim to cater events or create a line of wholesale products, as a Cookery member, you can rent the production facility to launch your business!

Starting a food business can be daunting. We are here to foster creative culinary minds as they set out to become the next big thing on the local food scene. Using the tools a Cookery membership offers, you have everything you need to make your culinary business a success.


In addition to offering services to local food entrepreneurs, we host a variety of events, for both public and private purposes. The Cookery was founded on the belief that local producers can not only feed their community, but are the driving force behind culinary ingenuity and new food movements. Our community, the Triangle, is fortunately chock-full of innovative thinkers and food-focused entrepreneurs.  The Front Room prompts Triangle residents to participate in The Cookery’s celebration of culinary talent in a community events space connected to our kitchen facility. This unique event space is available to rent for private dinners, wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners, daytime meetings, and more. The Front Room is also a revolving pop-up restaurant venue, allowing adventurous diners to indulge on unique dishes influenced by a restaurant concept that will exist only for a few days!


Rochelle & Nick Johnson, Billy & Kelli Cotter of Toast

Dashi is a Japanese ramen shop and izakaya (Japanese pub) in downtown Durham. Centering on exquisite ramen noodle bowls, our menu also features innovative small plates paired with sake and shochu.

The main floor is a vibrant, bustling ramen shop with a traditional open kitchen with surrounding seating as the focal point.  In addition, our second story izakaya features craft cocktails, shochu (a popular Japanese spirit), sake, wine and beer.  Small plates are available in the bar, offering a traditional izakaya atmosphere.



Keil Jansen, David Baldwin, Nick Hawthorne-Johnson

Ponysaurus Brewing Co. is a forward-thinking, backward-tasting brewery based in Durham, NC, creating beers that are meant to be savored, appreciated, contemplated, philosophized, studied, nuzzled, and mindfully guzzled.  

The brewery and beer garden is located on the corner of Ramseur Street and Fayetteville Street, featuring a taproom outfitted with a large double decker patio, multiple TVs to watch your favorite sports, and a platform to host your favorite Triangle food trucks every night.


Photo credits: Jessica Arden Photography, D.L Anderson Pictures