In recent years incubator kitchens have popped up all over the United States. They are often regulated by the state or county Health Departments or the state Department of Agriculture. Where these kitchens are located can be a bit tricky and food entrepreneurs should first check the local or state extension centers, technical community colleges or incubator business centers that have culinary/food programs or commercial kitchens.
A kitchen incubator allows home food processors the opportunity to test market their products before going the brick and mortar route; and although the location of the kitchen incubator may not fit everyone’s needs it may be worth the investment because a food processor can make 30 to 40 cheesecakes in those large commercial ovens in an hour or two along with having tons of space for dry/refrigerator food storage and equipment, a shared office with a computer and fax machine.
Often kitchen tenants will need to be approved by a selection committee composed of members of the incubator center or an application process; and any contract entered into with a kitchen incubator or shared-use kitchen facility should be reviewed by a legal professional; even if it is a government owned and operated facility. As a tenants you may also need to pay an amount that covers the expenses, upkeep and maintenance of the facility.
Potential tenants may be required to submit business, financial and marketing plans. Tenants may have a limited time to utilize the facility (24-30 months), which provides tenants enough time to move their business from the incubator stage (start-up) to a full fledged brick and mortar business.
This Kitchen Rental Checklist is useful if you want to use a kitchen incubator or shared-use kitchen facility.
Below are websites that provide kitchen incubators and shared use facilities. It is your responsibility to investigate and make sure any facility where you choose to process your food products is properly licensed, hold appropriate permits, insurance and is operating within the guidelines of federal, state and local laws.
*Homebasedbaking.com does not endorse any of the facilities listed on this page.
Many incubator kitchen facilities are designed to help you fulfill your culinary dreams. However before you chalk over your hard earned funds there are a few things to consider.
Upon using an incubator you may be asked to supply the following:
The Incubator Facility will provide you with the following information:
Remember to ask for information in writing about all aspects of kitchen rental use/services, and fees before paying for the use of any incubator or shared use kitchen facility.