Hunting For Commercial Kitchens Made Easy

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Commercial Kitchens:

Finding and negotiating a commercial kitchen space can be a crucial step for a charcuterie business looking to scale. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how to approach this:

Research & Identification

  1. Location: Ensure the commercial kitchen is in a location that is convenient for you, your team, and your suppliers.
  2. Compliance: Check whether the kitchen complies with local health and safety regulations.
  3. Online Directories: Websites and directories for commercial kitchens are available. Check listings and reviews if available.
  4. Network: Talk to other food entrepreneurs or consult your industry network for recommendations.
  5. Visit: Never agree to rent a space without visiting it first. Ensure it meets your requirements and safety standards.


  1. Space: Is the kitchen large enough to accommodate your production levels? Check for storage space as well.
  2. Equipment: Ensure that the kitchen has the equipment you need. Anything missing will be an added expense for you.
  3. Utilities: Check if essential utilities like gas, electricity, and water are included in the rent.
  4. Accessibility: Make sure the kitchen is accessible when you need it. Understand the hours of operation if it’s a shared space.
  5. Cohabitation: If it’s a shared kitchen, consider how many other businesses use the space and whether this will be a conflict.

Cost Negotiation

  1. Rate Comparison: Compare rates for different commercial kitchens to get a sense of the market.
  2. Inclusions: Clarify what is included in the rent. Are utilities and storage included?
  3. Lease Terms: Is it a monthly lease? A yearly contract? What are the terms for breaking the lease?
  4. Discounts: Negotiate discounts for long-term commitments or off-peak hours usage.
  5. Payment Terms: Understand the deposit required, payment terms, and any other potential financial obligations (like maintenance fees).

Legal & Documentation

  1. Contracts: Read the lease contract carefully. Consult a legal advisor if necessary.
  2. Insurance: Check what type of insurance is required. You’ll usually need liability insurance at a minimum.
  3. Licenses & Permits: Make sure you can obtain all necessary licenses and permits for the
  4. space.
  5. Inventory List: Keep a list of any equipment or other key assets that will be part of the rental agreement.
  6. Exit Strategy: Understand the procedures and costs for terminating the lease.


  1. Trial Run: Before fully moving in, do a trial run to make sure the space accommodates your needs.
  2. Onboarding Team: Ensure your team is familiarized with the new space, safety protocols, and any equipment.
  3. Ongoing Relationship: Keep an open line of communication with the landlord to address any future issues or requirements.
  4. Periodic Review: Regularly assess if the space continues to meet your needs, especially if your business scales.
  5. Renegotiation: As your lease comes up for renewal, assess your needs and be prepared to renegotiate terms if necessary.

By being thorough and diligent in this process, you can secure a commercial kitchen space that not only meets your needs but also facilitates the growth of your charcuterie business.

Finding a Part-Time Commercial Kitchen

Finding a part-time commercial kitchen is crucial for many food businesses, especially those in the charcuterie industry that require a clean and safe environment to prepare their creations. Below is a breakdown of how you can best go about this.

Local Churches

  1. Research: Check if local churches have commercial-grade kitchens.
  2. Contact: Speak with the church administrative offices about renting the kitchen space.
  3. Arrange a Tour: Before committing, make sure to visit and see if it meets your requirements.
  4. Negotiate Terms: Work out scheduling and payment details.

Community Centers

  1. Investigate: Many community centers have commercial kitchens that can be rented.
  2. Approach: Speak to the community center manager about availability and costs.
  3. Check for Requirements: These centers might require you to be part of the community or have a specific business type.

Restaurants and Cafes (Off-hours)

  1. Identify: Restaurants or cafes that are closed during certain hours might be willing to rent out their kitchens.
  2. Inquire: Talk directly to the owner or manager about possibilities.
  3. Walk-through: Always inspect the space to ensure it has what you need.

Culinary Schools

  1. Research: Many culinary schools rent out their kitchens when classes aren’t in session.
  2. Reach Out: Contact the school’s administration office to discuss terms.
  3. Tour and Trial: Usually, a walk-through and even a trial session could be arranged.

Incubators and Co-op Kitchens

  1. Search Online: Websites like The Kitchen Door can help you find shared kitchens.
  2. Membership: Often you’ll need to become a member to rent these kitchens, but they offer flexible terms.

Local Farms and Farmer’s Markets

  1. Engage: Speak to local farmers who might know of commercial kitchens available for rent.
  2. Visit Markets: Farmer’s markets sometimes have booths or information about local commercial kitchens.

Business Parks

  1. Scour: Some business parks have shared amenities, including commercial kitchens.
  2. Inquire: Get in touch with the management of the business park.

Other Tips

  1. Networking: Word of mouth can be very powerful. Ask around in your industry for suggestions.
  2. Online Directories: Websites and food industry publications often list commercial kitchen rentals.
  3. Local Regulations: Always check if the kitchen meets health and safety codes before proceeding.
  4. Cost: Always make sure to ask for a full breakdown of the costs involved.

Things To Keep In Mind:

  1. Equipment: Ensure the kitchen has the necessary equipment for your business.
  2. Storage: Is there adequate space for you to store ingredients and finished products?
  3. Accessibility: Can you access the kitchen during the times you need?

By following these tips, you’re more likely to find a kitchen that’s both within your budget and well-suited for your charcuterie business.

Getting Your Commercial Kitchen Through Subleasing & Popups

In the turbulent world of food and beverage, there are occasionally opportunities to sublease a restaurant that may not be currently in business. This can be a lucrative option for those in the charcuterie industry who need a kitchen space. Here’s a breakdown of the process. (make sure to modify these steps to fit your situation and ideal outcome!)

Identifying Potential Spaces

  1. Local Business Directories: Look through directories or online listings that may indicate whether a restaurant has closed down recently.
  2. Word of Mouth: Networking within your industry can yield leads on recently closed spaces.
  3. Social Media Groups: Join local business or food industry-focused Facebook groups where people might post about available spaces.
  4. Commercial Real Estate Agents: They often have the latest info on what spaces are available or about to become available.
  5. Drive Around: Sometimes, driving around the neighborhood helps you spot “For Lease” signs.

Making Contact

  1. Landlord Contact: Often, the information on who owns the property will be publicly available. If not, you might find this information at your local property registry.
  2. Previous Owner: If possible, contact the previous restaurant owner. They may be willing to connect you with the landlord or offer insights into the property.
  3. Cold Calls or Emails: Sometimes a straightforward approach works best. Just call or send an email expressing your interest.

Negotiating Terms

  1. Meet in Person: Always schedule a tour of the space to ensure it meets your needs.
  2. Legal Advice: Before entering any agreement, get legal advice, especially if you plan to alter the existing lease.
  3. Temporary Leasing: Discuss the possibility of a short-term lease before committing to a longer one. This allows you to assess the feasibility of running your charcuterie business in that location.
  4. Rent and Utilities: Clarify all costs, not just the rent but also any utilities, taxes, or other hidden costs.

Due Diligence

  1. Inspections: Ensure that the restaurant space meets health and safety codes, especially for food preparation.
  2. Equipment Inventory: Conduct an inventory of available equipment and fixtures to see what you’ll need to add.
  3. Exit Strategy: Make sure to understand the terms if things don’t work out and you need to break the sublease.

Taking Over the Lease

  1. Legal Documents: Ensure all agreements are put into writing.
  2. Notification: You might be legally required to notify the local health department and other authorities when a new business takes over a food establishment.
  3. Permits and Licenses: Make sure to transfer or reapply for any necessary permits and licenses.

Additional Considerations

  1. Insurance: Ensure that you’re adequately covered, particularly if you plan on making any alterations to the space.
  2. Community Engagement: Engage with the community to explain your new venture, perhaps through a soft opening, to gauge local interest.
  3. Initial Marketing: Leverage the restaurant’s previous customer base if applicable, to kickstart your operations.

By following these guidelines, you’re more likely to secure a space that meets your needs and falls within your budget, enabling you to get your charcuterie business up and running.

Licensing & Certification Checklist

For each product you publish to your site, you will want to make sure you have all the elements notated with a “*” symbol. The other elements notated with a “**” typically come with the site

Compliance & Corporate Success Checklist

Licensing Requirements:

 Research and obtain necessary local business licenses.

 Check for specific food handling or preparation permits required in your jurisdiction.

 Keep copies of all licenses readily available for clients’ requests.

Insurance Needs:

 Evaluate and secure the appropriate business insurance (e.g., general liability, product liability).

 Consider consulting with an insurance agent to tailor coverage to your specific business needs.

Food Safety Certifications:

 Enroll in food safety courses if required locally.

 Maintain up-to-date certifications and provide evidence to clients if requested.

Understanding Cottage Food Laws (if applicable):

 Research local cottage food laws to see if they apply to your charcuterie products.

 Comply with any restrictions or requirements (e.g., labeling, ingredient listing).

Building Corporate Relationships:

 Create a professional portfolio that includes your licenses, certifications, insurance, and sample products.

 Develop a clear and persuasive pitch tailored to corporate clients, emphasizing professionalism and compliance.

 Seek opportunities to network with local businesses and corporate event planners.

Ongoing Compliance:

 Regularly review and update licenses and certifications to ensure ongoing compliance.

 Monitor changes in local regulations and adapt as needed.


 Local Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Association for licensing information.

 State or local health department for food safety regulations and permits.

 Insurance brokers specialized in food businesses for tailored coverage.