Getting Started in a Commercial Kitchen

What do you need to operate in a commercial kitchen? To start, you will need food handler’s certification and liability insurance. Links are provided below.

Check out our Member requirements, complete an application and make an appointment to tour the kitchen.

Establish a package and fee plan. Once a member, you will get an orientation on kitchen protocol and reservation system. 

Food Handler's Certification

As an owner of a food business, you will need to understand the fundamentals of safe food preparation, packaging and food-service. California law requires that at least one employee of your food business holds and maintains a Food Safety Manager’s Certification, and that all people working in food preparation, storage or service have food handler’s certification.

These food handler’s certifications are offered by your local County Health Department, or can be taken through a number of private education organizations. Make sure that the course you take is ANSI (American National Standards Institute) accredited. A list of course offerings is provided below.

https://www.ansi.org/Accreditation/credentialing/certificate-issuers/AllDirectoryListing?prgID=228,238&statusID=4

Insurance

Before you start selling your food products, you will want to have liability insurance in place. This may not be a requirement under State law, but will usually be required by the businesses to which you sell your food products. And it’s important to protect yourself and your assets.

You will be required to have liability insurance, and to name our kitchen as an additional insured, before you prepare food for sale in our kitchen.

You can secure your insurance through any number of insurance brokers. Recently many of our kitchen members have been using FLIP (Food Liability Insurance Program) for their liability insurance needs. We have also worked with State Farms, who offer competitive rates and familiar with industry standards for commercial liability.

State Farm:

eric.ferraro.vabbcy@statefarm.com

http://www.ericferraro.com/

Flip Insurance:

https://www.fliprogram.com/

https://www.fliprogram.com/events/2590

$10 Discount Coupon Code: THEPREPSTATION

FLIP Coverage Details:

https://www.fliprogram.com/coverage_details

Business Licensing and Local, State and Federal Requirements

We recommend food business operators get business licenses in place, and to familiarize themselves with the various City, County, State and Federal requirements for licenses, certifications and regulations for preparing, packaging and selling food and beverage products.

A good resource for understanding the various steps in forming, growing and operating your food business is a not-for-profit organization called SCORE. www.score.org

Starting your Food Truck

County Health website (https://deh.acgov.org/operations/mff.page) 

Will you be focused on selling lunches to busy office locations, Participating in events and festivals, and/or Joining planned food truck events through Off the Grid (https://offthegrid.com/) or Food Truck Mafia (https://www.thefoodtruckmafia.com/)

One of the benefits of joining our Commissary is that you become part of a community of Mobile food operators that can help you with information, advice and introductions. We have a great group of vendors and they are happy to share.  (https://foodtruckr.com/2020/05/what-i-wish-id-known-before-starting-my-food-truck/)