Saturday, May 22, 2010

News from the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen

Oh my gosh. Kitchen equipment gets moved in next week. I get to move in the week after. I can't tell you how exciting this is.

Very few people know the full story of how hard the Hodan Center family and their supporters worked to open this facility. Centers for adults with disabilities are facing increasing challenges. Including Innovation Kitchens in the mix of their services to our communities allows us all better, easier access to food innovation and entrepreneurship.

Innovation Kitchens can help our disabled friends enjoy a meaningful work life. They can also enable small food enterprises as well as new food entrepreneurs to grow new businesses and create new jobs. Innovation Kitchens can create platforms for profitably processing and marketing local foods within regional foods systems. My kind of win-win-win…

So, Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen news from last week…

Processing Partner news: (Processing Partners prepare their own recipes utilizing the Innovation Kitchen on a rental basis).

Initial rental rates have been set.

Let me set the stage. This is a state-inspected commercial kitchen. All new equipment. (initial list linked below). Walk-in freezer and fridge. Shipping docks. Total facility cost is well over $1 million dollars.

Rental rates have been set at $15 per hour for available slots.

That's not a misprint. With the appropriate certifications, you can rent a million dollar+ commercial kitchen for $15 per hour. It made me glad I passed my certification courses. The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen/Hodan Center is making this facility available for rental to local food entrepreneurs during available time slots. If you would like to prepare your own recipes for commercial sale, this is a significant opportunity. (certification requirements linked below)

Preparation Partner news: (Preparation Partners utilize the Innovation Kitchen staff to process and package their recipes on a contract basis).

This is an opportunity to have your recipes prepared for commercial sale in artisan, commercial batches in a state-inspected kitchen by a community of food-certified workers who love their jobs.

For farmers, local food lovers, and food entrepreneurs, this is a significant opportunity to start or grow a virtual food business without having to invest in infrastructure or employees.

This virtual food business idea - using the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen as your Preparation Partner - will allow food innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world to launch and run exciting new food businesses from Iowa County, Wisconsin. The kitchen can prepare, package, store and ship your food innovation. What an opportunity.

There are limited slots for this. Send me an eMail if you are interested. (work email linked below).

Event Partner news: OK, this is why I started this post. Chef Joel and I had a great meeting this weekend. Everyone at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen is excited about the local foods courses Chef Joel will be starting this summer. The courses will weave through the theme of 'Everyday Cooking with Wisconsin Local Foods'.

Chef Joel's local foods courses will be scheduled for one Saturday every month at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen in Mineral Point. Details to follow. Here also, due to space limitations, enrollment will be limited to something like 15 to 20 local food lovers per class.

For these courses, Chef Joel will have an education/ demonstration presentation in the morning. The afternoon will be hands-on, focusing on local foods preparation (and celebration!).

All the details need to be worked out, but Chef Joel will be on hand to do demonstrations and answer questions about Wisconsin local foods preparation at the Innovation Kitchen Grand Opening. July 11 from 11 AM to 4 PM. If you're in the area come on over, meet Chef Joel and let us give you an introduction to our wonderful new Innovation Kitchen.

What's next…

The renaissance in local foods is opening up many new opportunities in food entrepreneurship. Everyone from farmers to those who love food can benefit by improved food processing infrastructure, wisely deployed at scales that makes economic sense.

The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen is just one shining star in this movement. What fun it will be. There are so many experiments in food entrepreneurship that can be run, refined and replicated in a facility like this.

Are you a farmer that would like to experiment with your own value added product lines? Are you a food entrepreneur with a unique food innovation looking for a home?

Perhaps you should grow or start your own food business. Have I got a kitchen for you…

Save the date. The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen Grand Opening. July 11, 2010. 11 AM to 4 PM. Ribbon cutting at 3 PM

Food safety certifications at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

Innovation Kitchen partial equipment list

Work email: rickt (at)

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