Shared Use Commercial Kitchen

Emporia Shared Use Commercial Kitchen
a project of the Emporia Area Local Food Network and Emporia Farmers Market


Please note that the information provided in this document is intended to serve as an outline to get you started. Fees, certifications, contacts and other details may change and may or may not be applicable to your situation or your particular food product. It may not answer all the questions you need to know to produce and sell your value-added foods products, but our goal is to point you in the right direction and help you get started. EALFN and EFM do not guarantee the accuracy of the content of this document.


What is a Shared Use Commercial Kitchen?

A Shared Use Commercial Kitchen is a licensed kitchen providing small scale, value-added food entrepreneurs a space to prepare and process food for consumer marketing.

For example:
  • Vendors of the Emporia Farmers Market might use the kitchen for producing value-added foods products on a larger scale than they can be accommodated in their home kitchens.
  • EFM vendors and other community members might use the kitchen for producing value-added foods (i.e. canned products and salsas) that require licensing and certification for sale at farmers markets and other retail outlets.

How do I know if I need to use a Commercial Kitchen?

If you are a value-added foods entrepreneur who wishes to take the sale of a products beyond a farmers market (i.e. to grocery stores and other retail outlets), you would require additional licensing and processing in a certified production kitchen.

Examples:
  • jams and jellies
  • baked goods

Selling preserved foods at farmers markets (with the exception of jams and jellies) or in other retail outlets requires a Food Processor License and that the product be processed in a licensed facility.

Examples:
  • Canned vegetables of any kind
  • Homemade salsas, barbeque sauces, ketchups
  • Pickled vegetables*
  • Baked goods considered hazardous by the Kansas Department of Agriculture (i.e. meringue, custard or cream pies, cheesecakes, cream-filled cupcakes or donuts, items with cream cheese-based frostings or fillings)

*Note: For any product where vinegar is added as the preserving agent, the producer must also complete Better Process Control School http://fpc.unl.edu/web/food-processing-center/bpcs.


Other courses of benefit to your value-added foods business:

I would like to sell my homemade salsa at the farmers market or in other retail locations. Where do I start?

If you have a salsa recipe that your friends rave about and you would like to can and sell that salsa, you first must have your product tested.

In Kansas, product testing is done through the K-State Extension Value-Added Foods Lab. Testing includes the creation of an ingredient statement and nutrition facts panel. The contact is:

            Dr. Fadi Aramouni
            Department of Animal Sciences and Industry
            216 Call Hall
            Manhattan, KS  66506
            Phone:  785-532-1668
            Fax:  785-532-3295
            Email:  aramouni@ksu.edu

You must send a sample of your product, along with the required paperwork, recipe and processing details. The cost per product is $150. Currently, the Emporia Kitchen has scholarships for individuals that will cover $75 per product tested, up to two products per individual. These scholarships are limited. Please contact emporiaFM@gmail.com before proceeding with your product testing to see if assistance for product testing is still available.

 Once you have received a "Process Authority" letter from Dr. Aramouni, you would need to schedule a visit for kitchen inspection in order for you to become licensed to produce your product in our Shared Use Commercial Kitchen. The application fee and certification is $180 for the first year and $80 per year after. Currently, the Emporia Kitchen has scholarships that will cover $90 of the initial fee (first year only), up to two products per individual. These scholarships are limited. Please contact emporiaFM@gmail.com before proceeding to make sure assistance for kitchen certification is still available.

You will also need to register your food facility with the FDA. This can be done online athttp://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/RegistrationofFoodFacilities/default.htm

Important to Note: Every recipe you plan to produce for retail sale (at farmers markets or other retail outlets) must be tested. If you change your recipe, your "Process Authority" letter is no longer good.

Also Important to Note: The $180 certification procedure is for each product you plan to produce for sale to consumers. It does not matter if you are already certified to produce one product. Additional products require the same testing and same initial fees for startup.

I would like to sell my eligible farmers market goods (i.e. non-hazardous baked goods, jams or jellies) in other retail locations. Where do I start?

For these items, you still need to comply with regulations on labeling. K-State Value Added Foods Lab will review your label for free. You are probably exempt from the requirements for the Nutrition Facts panel until you sell more than $100K worth of product. The cost for that testing, should you require the Nutrition Facts panel, is $150 per product, as in the above example.

You would need to schedule a visit for kitchen inspection in order for you to become licensed to produce your product in our Shared Use Commercial Kitchen. The application fee and certification is $180 for the first year and $80 per year after. Currently, the Emporia Kitchen has scholarships that will cover $90 of the initial fee (first year only), up to two products per individual. These scholarships are limited. Please contact emporiaFM@gmail.com before proceeding to make sure assistance for kitchen certification is still available.

If you would like to use the Emporia Kitchen to increase your capacity in preparing eligible goods for sale only at the Emporia Farmers Market (or other farmers markets), you would not need to complete any licensing requirements. You would only need schedule your kitchen time and pay the hourly use rate.

How do I schedule time to use the Emporia Shared Use Commercial Kitchen and what does it cost?

Currently, EALFN and EFM have an agreement with a local, commercially certified kitchen. Time for kitchen use must be scheduled through an Emporia Kitchen representative. Contact emporiaFM@gmail.com for details.

If you intend to use the Emporia Kitchen, we require that you be ServSafe Certified. Contact emporiaFM@gmail.com for information on certification and local course offerings. A limited number of partial scholarships are available to complete this certification.

Hourly use of the Emporia Kitchen is currently $16.25/hour (subject to change). Initially, the Emporia Kitchen will provide scholarships of $8.25/hour for qualified users. Please contact emporiaFM@gmail.com for current status of hourly use scholarships. These are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis.

Links to Emporia Kitchen Forms and Applications:

  • Product Testing Scholarship Application
  • Product/Kitchen Certification Application
  • Kitchen Use Agreement/Kitchen User & EALFN/EFM

Other Useful Links: