Friday, March 26, 2010

Partnership Programs at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen

Here comes the Grand Opening of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen! July 11, 2010, at Mineral Point, WI.

After watching the building slowly go up all winter, now work seems to be flying.

And just as that pace picks up so does the need to organize systems that help introduce this new opportunity to the world of local foods and artisan food processing. In many ways it was a blank sheet of paper with lots of (beneficial!) food safety regulations to wire in. As the opening gets closer, so does the need for information and processes to help people utilize this kitchen.

We are organizing the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen as a partnership program.

To me that means that we, as farmers, food lovers, existing food businesses, and food entrepreneurs, have the ability to become partners with a non-profit, community-access commercial kitchen designed to help us grow our own artisan food enterprises.

Because it's a big world, there will be many different ways people will want to utilize a facility like this. With that in mind we're initially organizing around 4 different types of community partnership programs.

- Preparation Partners

- Processing Partners

- Purchasing Partners

- Event Partners

Preparation Partner - We prepare your recipe for you. This will include chefs that want to process artisan, small-batch production under their labels. Existing small food enterprises or new food entrepreneurs can have their recipes prepared in artisan commercial quantities by the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

Our Preparation Partners will be able to start or expand artisan food businesses simply by following our intake path for this type of partnership. If you want to start an artisan food business without having to cook and clean yourself, or the need to get the required food processing certifications, our Preparation Partner program fits perfectly. Services for Preparation Partners can include full turnkey production, packaging and labeling, marketing, storage and shipping. Many great local foods opportunities down this path!

Our Processing Partners will be able to commercially process their own recipes in the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen, utilizing any mix of their ingredients or purchased ingredients.

An array of support services will be available to our Processing Partners including packaging, storage and distribution. Processing Partners will have a separate path for utilizing the kitchen. This path will include help accessing required food processing certifications and insurance as well as ingredients and distribution services.

Our Purchasing Partners program will support small food entrepreneurs and businesses who could use better access to products and services they use, not at the Innovation Kitchen, but in their own food processing operations.

The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen can supply a wide range of food ingredients, packaging and services to food businesses and food entrepreneurs. This path for Purchasing Partners is being designed to support the small food enterprise community with better access to materials, services and pricing.

Lastly, our Event Partners will utilize the Innovation Kitchen in many ways to celebrate local and artisan foods.

This can include chefs presenting seasonal local-foods cooking schools, food stylists, help for folks utilizing food assistance programs, and everyone with a great food event idea in between.

So, four simple paths into the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen:

Preparation Partners - we prepare your recipes for you.

Processing Partner - you prepare and process your recipes.

Purchasing Partners - we help you purchase commercial food supplies and services for your own food processing operations.

Event Partners - we help you produce artisan food events in our commercial kitchen.

With the help of Tom and Annette at the Hodan Center, I'm building the back-office systems to provide (hopefully!) increasingly easy and useful ways to access these Partner Programs.

If you have ever wondered about starting your own food-based enterprise or growing an existing business into the world of local foods, the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen will be a great platform to explore your dream, no matter what food path you're on.

Act on that dream. Local foods entrepreneurship is blossoming. New support infrastructure is emerging all over. You can do it.

Welcome, Partner!

Our emerging Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen site

Hodan Center

Before the Grand opening of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen comes the Grand Re-Opening of the Mineral Point Opera House Oh my gosh. Check this out. April 30, 2010.

No comments: