Can I have a tour of the kitchens?
Chef’s Kitchens operates 24/7 and our kitchens are heavily booked. We try to be very respectful of our chefs who are busy working and follow strict Health Department guidelines. Therefore, we do not do kitchen tours until someone is ready to start working with us. Because of this we have put extensive photos (see “Photo’s” on Main Menu) with 180 degree views of the kitchens on our website. With the exception of our Raw Foods Kitchen (#5) all of our kitchens have double stacking convection ovens, 6 burner stoves with ovens, extra-large specially designed stainless steel work tables, 3 compartment sinks, reach in refrigeration and freezers, and 20/30 quart Hobart Mixers. All smaller or specialty equipment is provided by each individual chef for their own use.
Once you have decided to move forward you will need to fill out an application and submitted your $35 application fee. We will contact you right away so our General Manager can set up a private meeting with you to tour the kitchens, discuss your needs and scheduling.
Can I rent a kitchen Full Time?
Yes, depending on demand for hourly kitchens we offer exclusively monthly rental of kitchens. Contact us for availability.
I have a catering company---can I rent a kitchen when I need it?
Unlikely. We are set up for small food businesses that need part-time licensed kitchen space. Most of our Chefs have regularly scheduled hours when they work, and the kitchen may not be available when you need it.
How do I go about getting a license?
You don’t! We are fully licensed by the Health Department and you would be working under our license.
Can I start right away?
There is a waiting list for our kitchens. If you really need to start right away and you are flexible as to what times and days you can work, it may be possible.
How do I get on the Waiting List?
A $500 deposit is required to get on the waiting list.
Why do I need a Food Handler’s Permit and how do I get one?
The Health Department requires one for each individual business. Getting a Food Handler’s Permit is not difficult. You will need to either study the information on your own, or take a short --- usually half-day class (this is what most people do) and then take the required exam to receive your certification. We endeavor to maintain high standards in our kitchens, and by learning what rules and regulations are required by the Health Department (this is what you will study to receive your permit) you will be part of keeping a high level of sanitation and safety in producing your own food products and in maintaining those standards in our kitchens.
Do I bring my own equipment?
We do provide some basic equipment, but you will need to bring any specialized equipment that you might need specifically for your business. Once you have toured our kitchens you will have a clearer idea.
Will I have any storage space?
Yes, although storage is limited, all “full time” (60+ hours per month) co-op members receive some dry storage and some refrigerated space for on-going storage.
Will I have any refrigeration space on a permanent basis?
Yes, again you need to be “full time” (60+ hours per month) for on-going refrigerator or freezer space.
Can I used the kitchen’s address as my actual business address?
Yes, you can put it on your products and have your own private mail box on premise for all your business mail delivery.
What if I get a big order and do not have enough time to get it out during my regularly scheduled hours?
Sarah, our General Manager tries to be very sensitive to all of our co-op members needs, and will work hard to find additional time for you.
Can I get deliveries?
Yes You should try to schedule your food or packaging deliveries during your time in the kitchen. If this is not possible then you will need to make arrangements with another co-op member to sign and store your deliveries for you.
Can I have my product picked up by Fed/Ex or UPS?
Yes, again, you need to be responsible for your arrangements.
I want to sell my products at the Farmer’s Market. Can you help me with the required paperwork?
Yes We have worked with the division of the Health Department extensively that handles permits to sell your products at Farmer’s Markets. We will help guide you.
How many other chefs will be using the same kitchen when I am in it?
Zero! When it is your designated time the kitchen is exclusively yours. You can bring your own staff to help you, of course.
Will someone clean up after me?
Each chef is required to leave the kitchen (including floors, sinks, work tables, stoves, etc.) immaculate after they finish their time slot. We rely on everyone to leave the kitchen as you would want to find it. We only handle the cleaning of common areas (like bathrooms and hall floors), and do deep cleaning of building and equipment surfaces.
What if something breaks?
While we work hard to maintain equipment, plumbing, and the myriad parts of a commercial kitchen, the reality is that something breaking down can be expected when so many things are involved. Unless you have caused the breakage by your mishandling of an item, we will take responsibility for fixing it. We are a co-op, and we ask all members to alert us immediately if anything is not working properly, so we can get the right professional out to handle the problem as soon as possible. We also ask everyone to alert us in advance if they anticipate a problem with some aspect of the kitchen or facility. It is only with everyone’s cooperation that we can keep on top of everything and practice preventative maintenance.
How long can I rent the kitchen for?
As long as you want. We have many co-op members who have been in our kitchens for many years. We are an ideal space for small food businesses needing part-time space because we have been here since 1984 and are committed to serving the artisanal food community with affordable kitchen space.
How do I sell my product at the Farmer’s Market?
First, you need to contact the Manager of the market you want to work out. There is an extensive list of markets listed on the website of the California Federation of Certified Farmers' Markets. Once you have talked to the individual market manager and have been told you can sell your product at that market then you need to get a seller’s permit for the Farmer’s Market---we will write a letter for you at that time to let the office of the health dept. that handles farmer’s market permits know that you are working in our licensed kitchen.