Cooking, baking, and kitchens

hmm.... Maybe I should sell these too...?

I am getting ready to bake again this weekend though my house currently smells like brownies. I am apparently not satisfied with all the cookies that I will be making on Sunday. I have needs and I need brownies now.

I looked into two farmers' markets in town to see if I could sell baked goods there. One I have to wait to next year to apply and the other wants prepared food! That sounds so exciting! They are specifically interested in tamales and other easy to eat foods. I would love to do that but, there is no way I could do that now.

To become a business that can sell to more than to just your friends and family you either have to have your personal kitchen inspected or you have to find a commercial kitchen to rent. Considering my small apartment, the rental kitchen is the route that I will need to take.

There is one shared kitchen you can rent in my city and it is run by a local non-profit that focuses on nutrition and growing healthy communities. They do that by offering food to struggling families, having community gardens and running the shared kitchen to promote more local food production. You can make low risk foods like breads, jams, sauces and basically most things that don't have to be refrigerated.

If you want to sell high risk foods where the main ingredients are dairy, eggs or any kind of meat or fish you will need to have a different kind of commercial kitchen. Sadly, there isn't one in my city, but things may be changing.

So, back to the awesome conversation I had with the Farmer's Market Representative. She is interested in a food vendor and she is so interested she set me up with a free consultation with a food business specialist. Also, she gave me a number to call the health department. Apparently there is a company opening a commercial kitchen in the next few months so it all may work out.

I may have found a kitchen or two, but I can't just go in an use them. To be able to use a shared use kitchen you have to be ServSafe certified and for the non-profit kitchen in town you also have to have a workable business plan. Then you have to apply and hope that you will be approved to use their facilities. Then you have to get inspected while using their kitchen and finally you have to have a place to sell your products once they are made. As you can guess there are applications and fees every step of the way.

Hopefully, we will talk to the consultant early next week. Then maybe I can start making a game plan. Until then, I will be selling my illicit goodies to friends and family. I will post some pictures of some yummy goodies on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

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