Introduction to Shared Use Commercial Kitchens and Best Practices


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Winifred McGee, Penn State Extension, Lebanon County

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Introduction to Shared Use Commercial Kitchens and Best Practices

  1. 1. SHARED KITCHENINCUBATORS--COMMUNITIES SHARINGA VISION FORENTREPRENEURIALDEVELOPMENT A presentation of the Keystone Kitchen Project Team: Winifred McGee, Senior Educator, Penn State Extension, in collaboration with Larry Grunden & Alan McConnell, PENNTAP
  2. 2. Definition of a Shared Kitchen A facility set up for commercial food production that is available to multiple users (tenants) on an assigned schedule.
  3. 3. A Shared Kitchen Incubator• approved for commercial production• start-up assistance to value-added producers and food entrepreneurs• guidance in commercial food processing• education/support: – business planning and management – sources of financing – marketing and sales – distribution
  4. 4. Quick Facts –Shared Kitchen Incubators• 2004 – no shared kitchens in PA• 2007 – one shared kitchen – Rural, Western PA (Republic)• Historically, several kitchens opened and closed in the Commonwealth• The challenge is not starting, but keeping a kitchen incubator open
  5. 5. Keystone Kitchens Team• PSU Outreach Group – Penn State Extension – PENNTAP• Funding sources – PDA Bureau of Marketing – DCED – First Industries Grant – assisted by Agriculture & Rural Affairs – Vice Chairman (local State Senator) – NE Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grant (Appalachian Initiative)
  6. 6. Keystone KitchensProject Goals Explore establishment of one or more shared kitchen incubators in the Commonwealth: – research established kitchens in other states – develop BMPs for sustainability – lead stakeholder meetings – follow-up assistance
  7. 7. Keystone Kitchens Incubator Study Tour
  8. 8. BMPs for Shared Kitchens*• a shared kitchen incubator is a business venture – conduct a pre-venture feasibility study – write and implement a business plan• integrate the incubator and community• have a champion – committed to the vision and in for the long haul• partner with a university for support• community consensus about mission• establish tenant entrance requirements *Results from NE SARE Keystone Kitchens Project
  9. 9. BMPs for Shared Kitchens (cont’d)*• start-up funding from grants, not loans• recruit/compensate management• build an effective advisory team• layout – never too much storage!• lease forms list responsibilities/rights• tenants’ fees that cover operating costs• tenant success  incubator success• move from grants to fee support ASAP *Results from NE SARE Keystone Kitchens Project
  10. 10. BMPs for Shared Kitchens (cont’d)*• 1-2 anchor tenants for steady revenues• target 35-50 tenants to “break-even”• long-term tenants supply networks• select tenants who can share space• rural/urban tenant types differ• good (kitchen) marketing is essential• offer value-added services to tenants *Results from NE SARE Keystone Kitchens Project
  11. 11. Stakeholder Meetings• Philadelphia (24)  Republic (12/3)• York (20)  Mercer (45/21)• Wilkes-Barre (48/12)  Coudersport (15/3)
  12. 12. On-going Work of the KK TeamProvide assistance to potential kitchen start-ups – feasibility studies – funding identification – business start-up planning – marketing of shared kitchen concept – triage of would-be tenants – community group skills and process
  13. 13. ConclusionsNecessary for community kitchen building: – Inclusivity among agencies which creates/builds a common vision – Willingness to explore and change the vision – Slow and steady growth by investing time and effort – feasibility studies open communication – Identify one cheerleader/agency who is given authority to “carry water”  others support – Remember the kitchen is a business, first and foremost – Apply and strenuously follow the BMPs to ensure sustainability
  14. 14. Moving Forward: Why We’re HereLogical Progression and Shared Experience –Shared Commercial Kitchen Roundtable • History and Context  BMPs •Survey Research  Needs and Visions •Feasibility Studies/B-Plans  Mapping •Financing Strategies  Sustainability •Processing and Discussion  Inclusivity