Talk with others about the cottage food industry in California
This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Ashley Colpaart 1 year, 9 months ago.
- August 31, 2015 at 9:43 am #26667
Has anyone on here upgraded from CFO to commercial kitchen? How did you find a commercial kitchen? And did you keep your CFO license so that you could cook from your home in addition to using a commercial kitchen? I called the LA County Health Dept and asked if it was possible to keep your CFO license and also work out of a commercial kitchen and they said it was fine. They said I needed to find a kitchen before I figured out what was needed and how much $$ the upgrade to my permits would be. Just wondering about others experiences with this?September 1, 2015 at 7:05 am #26678
I haven’t upgraded myself, but I know a number of CFOs in SoCal have considered it. I haven’t talked to a CFO that has actually done it. It seems that the largest barriers are a) the cost, and b) finding a kitchen with reasonable available hours. You might be able to find info online for kitchens to rent, but you can also talk to restaurants or large churches to see if their kitchen would be available. What is pushing you to move to a commercial kitchen?September 1, 2015 at 11:07 am #26682
Well, several things actually. I’ve gotten many inquiries about shipping. Some interest in wholesale, including a large chain that would require me to be in a commercial kitchen, not a Class B CFO. And finally, I’d love to be able to sell pumpkin pie this holiday season! I just feel like I’ve hit my limits with the CFO. I’m looking for an hourly commercial kitchen so that I can keep my operation mostly to my home kitchen, but spend a few hours a week in a commercial kitchen for orders for shipment and wholesale. I would just love to pick someone’s brain about it that’s done it before.September 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm #26695
I am in the same position as Jess. There are several commercial kitchens in LA that can be rented by the hour, so that’s not really the issue. What I am looking for is this: what else do I need to do to make my business legit? I’ve been operating for 2 years as a CFO-B. If anyone know anyone who has made this transition, thanks for letting me know!
David B.September 1, 2015 at 9:06 pm #26699
David B.- Just wondering which hourly commercial kitchens you are looking into in LA? I’ve found one downtown and one in Santa Monica, but we’re way out in the west Valley, almost to Ventura County, so neither is very convenient. Maybe you know of something I haven’t found yet?September 2, 2015 at 11:26 am #26704
Jess – I’ve been looking at cookithere.com. They seem to have a large list of commercial kitchens available for small or large operations.September 2, 2015 at 1:13 pm #26711
I don’t know too much about going the commercial route, but I know that it can be complex. You are probably going to get very familiar with the health dept in the process. I believe that you need to create a number of detailed plans, about what you make and exactly how you make it. What is your waste disposal plan, where do you source ingredients, what is your plan for storing them? I’m pretty sure all of these things need to be written out. If you rent out an hourly kitchen, the kitchen owner would probably be an excellent resource.September 2, 2015 at 1:16 pm #26712
Also, I think you might need to take a Food Manager course, which is well beyond the training you took for your CFO. You will need to get another business license because I’m pretty sure you can’t use the same one that your CFO uses. The kitchen you rent will probably require you to get insurance.August 14, 2018 at 7:15 pm #41563
Hey everyone! Just wanted to let y’all know about a resource called The Kitchen Door that might be helpful if you are looking for a commercial kitchen to rent in your area. I know it’s difficult to find a space that makes it easy to stay compliant and frankly just cook. Hope it’s helpful!