Creative Chef Kitchens
Creative Chef Kitchens is a food business incubator & shared kitchen. We provide a certified, commercial kitchen space & a variety of startup services for new & established small batch food ventures.
What one unique aspect of your business will make you succeed over the next year?
What makes us unique is that we are a one stop shop for food entrepreneurs offering consulting and services in the areas of regulation and compliance, packaging and labelling, nutritional information, barcoding and batch numbering, recall plans, insurance, financing, bookkeeping, payroll, ingredients and packaging resources, social media and web services. It was our goal to bring all the services our customers will need under one roof. Since 2013, we have helped launch and develop of over 80 small food startups.
However, after 4 years, we are facing several new challenges for us and our growing businesses including: 1. Storage for ingredients and finished products, 2. Access to local produce, 3. Limited opportunity to expand beyond the startup kitchen, 4. Brokerage and distribution services, 5. Dedicated space for Gluten-free products and a USDA certified meat products processing space, 6. Time and expense of travelling to several farmer’s markets to sell and find customers and 7. Community involvement and support. In the next few months, we have plans to expand and build a larger kitchen and collaborative community space where our businesses can offer products to the market with easy access to vendors and buyers in a central location. The goal is to create a Local Food HUB for the purpose of “aggregation, distribution, & marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers in order to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand".
How does your business make a positive impact on the community?
We are space which fosters education and awareness of local foods and farms. We encourage our startups to buy from farmers, greenhouses and food producers in the community. When we expand, we will bring a year-round farmer’s market, a restaurant & store to have products made and packaged on. premises for resale and provide opportunities for businesses to have dedicated kitchens unit outside the shared space. We will be creating collaborative partnerships with schools, cafeterias and restaurants to purchase from the Kitchen and promote the value of knowing from where and how food is sourced. It is our mission to encourage healthy eating habits by providing access to food producers & creating sales outlets for the local food industry
What would you do with a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, training, and help from a SCORE mentor to grow your business?
When the Kitchen opened 4 years ago, we reached out to SCORE for an advisor/mentor with a food production background. It was a good partnership which helped us get more focused on a pricing model and differentiate each level of service. When we expand and move to a larger space, we will once ask for a mentor for guidance. My personal experience with SCORE has always been positive and strongly recommend them to the companies at the kitchen looking for financing and pricing advice.
The Sam’s Club gift card will be invaluable to purchase NSF equipment like display racks, smallwares, and stainless steel food carts as well as cleaning supplies for the kitchen.