What is a Kitchen Incubator?
Incubators make it financially possible for a startup food manufacturer to take advantage of available professional kitchen space, tools, and knowledge from birth to independence. The incubator becomes the site for "proof of concept" for the many creative culinary inventions concocted by these passionate foodies.
Culinary trends and market forces have made the kitchen incubator a concept whose time is now. Specialty Food Sales have jumped 15% in the last two years; current sales of specialty foods were $127 Billion in 2016 from $110 Billion in 2014.
Incubators are where all specialty food businesses really grow.
Most start-up food enterprises begin in a home kitchen. Once the final recipe is ready for the marketplace, the home kitchen is a liability; new business owners cannot obtain the necessary food licensing or product liability insurance for the manufacture and sale of a home-made product. Legally, entrepreneurs must manufacture their product from a professional kitchen that can be inspected by insurance companies, the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, or county Department of Health.
Kitchen Incubators offer long or short-term leases at reasonable rates on a flexible time-share basis. The kitchens provide commercial grade ovens, refrigerators, freezers, mixers, food processors, worktables, pots and pans, utensils and locked storage space.
A kitchen incubator can be an incredibly rewarding concept, but it requires a tremendous amount of:
*knowledge of the food industry and the local laws
*sufficient capital for the initial build out and operating since incubators are not self-sustaining for the first five years
*creating strategic partnerships with local support services for entrepreneurs
The increase of entrepreneurship leading to job creation and economic growth far outweigh the time commitment involved to become self-sustainable. In this sense, the incubator becomes a role model for the entrepreneurs using the facility, since the incubator itself follows the normal business cycle.
That's where Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen® enters the picture. Our consulting team works with nonprofits to assist them in creating and then teaching them to operate a kitchen incubator which will benefit their community through nurturing the small businesses, creating jobs, and adding revenue to the local economy. Mi Kitchen's understanding of the food industry and knowledge of nationwide regulations afford the nonprofit a greater success rate.
"Businesses launched through a period of nurturing in business incubators fare much better, with an 80% rate of success." — National Business Incubation Association
"Businesses launched by entrepreneurs acting on their own have only a 20% chance of surviving five or more years." — US Small Business Administration