If you’re currently on a whole foods diet, you want your food as minimally processed as possible. Raw is Rawesome.
It would seem at odds that a commercial kitchen would appeal to those who want foods to be as close to their natural state as possible. After all, a commercial kitchen is a place you go to process food, right?
But processing does not always mean interfering with a food’s natural state. Commercial kitchens with cutting edge tools can be 100% in line with preserving the natural goodness and nutritional integrity of food, in keeping with the healthy whole food product movement. Even better, commercial kitchens also offer whole food product entrepreneurs access to critical knowledge banks, including expert guides and resources that will help you expand your line of whole food products.
3 Reasons Why Whole Food Product Entrepreneurs Rent Commercial Kitchens
- Expert guidance on your whole food product (included in your rental fee): Your food recipe is mission critical — and a whole food entrepreneur wants their product in a more natural state — but you still need to follow processes such as Ontario’s food safety laws (for example for farmers' market food safety), and you also likely need access to the following:
- Food handler certification to show proof of due diligence to insurers and customers, including stores that are interested in purchasing your product.
- Food packaging development consulting to help you make sure your product will appeal to your target market(s).
- Business development consulting to help you create business plans and complete applications for funding opportunities. You can also rely on these experts to help you get admittance into group training sessions for new entrepreneurs, to help you examine the pros and cons of owning your own business, and understand everything involved in getting your whole food business started.
- Niche networking to meet other entrepreneurs and those in the food industry to learn from the experiences of fellow entrepreneurs of whole food products, including their success stories.
- Operations training on equipment that is new to you, such as a flash freezer. By renting the equipment you do not need the capital to purchase your own. This can be quite helpful when you are just getting started.
Thus, a whole food entrepreneur might look to rent a commercial kitchen, or fruits and vegetable processing room, to benefit from the expert guidance that is provided with that room rental, either free of charge or for decreased fees. For whole food entrepreneurs in Ontario, the OAFVC offers all kinds of free and subsidized supports for food entrepreneurs who are looking to get help with starting a food entrepreneurial business.
- Whole Food Processing Equipment: A flash freezer helps you preserve your food as close to its natural state as possible, while preserving nutrients. When you have access to a tool like a flash freezer, as you do at the OAFVC Commercial kitchen, you can puree, juices, even baby foods and freeze them, all of which can be considered whole foods if they are processed as close to their natural state as possible.
Besides a flash freezer, cold pressors and dehydrators, other expensive food processing start-up tools you would have access to in a commercial kitchen include:
- A hygiene bath for dirty fruits and vegetables, including time- and back-saving self-loading baskets (which transport cleaned fruits and vegetables to a sorting table for chopping and packaging).
- A food-safe inspected space with a controlled room temperature — critical for food safety.
- A bleach- and alcohol-free cleaner, Microkill, to sanitize your food-safe approved space for slicing, dicing, peeling, and shredding.
- A safer workspace for you and your team, with waterproof plugs on outlets.
- Equipment for packaging, including coding and taping tools, tamper-evident seals, corrugated casing, store-ready barcode/GSI printers, and specialty printers for labels. (Some stores will not sell products without GSI labels, and a special adhesive is required for packaging that will be in a freezer).
Being able to rent these tools and access resources when you are an up-and-coming whole food entrepreneur can help, as you won’t need to get into debt to purchase your own. Instead, you can focus on growing your business and building your customer base in a more strategic manner.
- Build Your Expansion Plan: Requiring fewer ingredients and minimal processing might make it easier for a whole food entrepreneur to get started than it is for a company with a more complicated food processing recipe. And you don’t want to lose that advantage when you have it. Instead, it can help you leap ahead of competitors and leverage your advantage to help you grow more efficiently.
When you’re at the OAFVC commercial kitchen, you have access to the best brains in the business: people with experience to help you avoid the pitfalls less supported food entrepreneurs could fall into.
For example, it’s commonplace in a commercial kitchen, like the OAFVC, to learn from your colleagues about how to position your start-up products in stores without being seen as a competitor to large brands, and while protecting the uniqueness of your product.
So if you grow and sell whole food products there's still a place for you in a commercial kitchen, and you get the bonus of being able to take the time to build your food production business without the stress of debt and upfront capital costs.
But don’t take our word for it — take a peek inside OAFVC’s commercial kitchen and what it has to offer you:
- “Nutrition Loss in Frozen Foods” , Livestrong.
- “Requirements for Farmers’ Markets”. OMAFRA. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/food/inspection/mkt-opt3.htm