Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen
Serving entrepreneurs needing a commercial kitchen…
Growing our local economy by providing commercial kitchen resources
The Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen at the Adrian Armory emerged from a growing demand for temporary kitchen solutions in the Lenawee / Hillsdale / Monroe areas. Our goal is to support culinary – industry chefs, bakers, retail, wholesale specialty food producers, caterers etc., get off the ground floor and successfully create and market specialty food products, thereby creating a positive impact on the economic development of Lenawee County and the surrounding area.
We also support food service entrepreneurs through our Launch Lenawee business development program, which focuses on assisting food service entrepreneurs with education, networking, mentoring and micro lending.
Commercial Kitchen and Food Licenses
If you are planning to cook food for sale, you need to meet numerous local, state, and federal requirements for the safe handling of food, labeling, serving, and licensing. Food safety should be considered when making decisions about what to make or serve.
A commercial kitchen incorporates cooking stations and equipment, and surfaces must be clean and safe. The licensing process may be more complicated than you expected.
When starting a commercial kitchen, both state and federal licensing may be needed, depending on the food that is involved. When products are sold directly to consumers, a retail food establishment license is also necessary. However, if the items are sold through wholesale distribution, a food-processing license is required. In cases involving large-scale production, you need to use an approved commercial grade facility to process foods rather than your home kitchen.
When a business involving large-scale production is started at home, a separate kitchen dedicated to the business is required, and it needs to meet the requirements for licensed kitchens, including specific walls and ceilings, washable floors, ventilation, and lighting, as well as easily cleaned and working equipment. For example, a three-compartment sink, or an NSF-approved dishwasher and a separate hand sink must be installed.
In Michigan, a food establishment license is required in almost all cases in which food is handled to be sold or served to the public, even if the giving of food is free.
Under the Michigan Food Law of 2000, anyone who preserves, freezes, prepares, services, processes, sells, or provides food for sale must be licensed.
Food service establishments include restaurants, cafeterias, delicatessens, food trucks, and others. With some exceptions, they are licensed through local or county health departments. Each sets its own fees. You may license a food service establishment on a yearly basis, and you will need to renew it each spring.
In Michigan, the type of commercial kitchen that you have makes a difference to the food licenses that you need.
A fixed food service establishment, for example, is a facility with a permanent location where food or drink is made so that it may be directly consumed through services on the premises or somewhere else, or other establishments where food is served to the public.
Temporary food service establishments are those establishments that operate at a fixed location for a temporary period that is two weeks or less.
Mobile food service establishments are those that are operated from a vehicle that is not fully equipped for full food service and need to be returned to a licenses’ commissary once every 24 hours for servicing and maintenance.
Vending machines also need to be licensed, as do special transitory food units.
Enacted in 2010, the Michigan Cottage Food Law exempts specific operations that sell less than $24,000 worth of homemade food from the inspecting and licensing regulations of the Michigan Food Law. While you will still need to comply with many other rules and regulations, it may be a way for food entrepreneurs to test whether a food business will work before committing to the greater facility, service, and inspection requirements of the Michigan Food Law
Food Handlers Certificate: Shared Kitchens require a high level of sanitation and need to maintain high standards at all times. Most small businesses already have their ServeSafe Certificate. If you do not and are just starting out…all that is involved is taking the course in a class environment or on-line and then taking a short exam.
Servsafe www.servsafe.com will help you determine what material you may need, where and when classes are offered.
Licensure: You will need your business license in order to work in our kitchen as a small business. This license applies to those looking to get their business off the ground by producing food and selling in it within the community.
Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen requires you have your own license to be able to identify working in our commercial environment. If you do not have your license yet, we can be part of the process.
Liability Insurance: Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen shall not be liable for any damage to either person or property sustained by the tenant or by any third party arising in any way out of the User’s use, operation, occupancy on Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen premises. The Users covenant and agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen at the Adrian Armory and its employees from all claims, costs and liability arising from or in connection with damages, injuries to persons (including death), or property in, upon, or about the Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen premises, or any portions thereof, or resulting from the sale, distribution, and use of any product manufactured by the User on the Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen premises.
User Liability Insurance: Each user must maintain a minimum coverage of $1,000,000 of general liability and product liability insurance with Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen named as “added named insured” on each policy. Users must provide proof of current insurance to the Kitchen Manager before User may enter and use the facility.
Our packages provide different levels of membership in order to provide customized fit for you and your business.
The Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen is open 24-hours per day, 7 days per week. Rental costs range from $8 – $25 per hour, depending on the type and frequency of use.
Members of Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen also pay a $30/month membership fee and receive the following benefits:
- reduced rental rates
- overhead costs included in rent
- food safety and licensing guidance
- discounts on our experiential education series
- ongoing incubation and business support
- access to wholesale ingredient ordering
- affiliation with the trusted Can-Do Kitchen community of food producers
- 24-hour access to facility
- discounted rate with label & nutrition analysis partner
- promotion and news media connections
- connections to retailers and distributors
- registered FDA facility for acidified food processing
- connections to counselors and mentors
- branding, packaging and labeling guidance
- translation services
Participate in the Kitchen
Interested in using the Launch Lenawee Incubator Kitchen?
Contact us to help you choose the package best for you.