Friday, July 30, 2010

Celebrating food entrepreneurs and Kitchen Partners!

As the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen blossoms, our new Kitchen Partner program is also emerging.

This week a Madison TV station did a nice piece that highlighted a few of the many different paths there are to utilizing the Innovation Kitchen opportunity.

The piece featured our first 3 Innovation Kitchen Partners, Sue Brunett of Flavor Fling, Matt D'Amour of Inside Out Wellness, and The Warricks, Janet and John and Jack, founders of the confectioner Cocomand. (TV naturals, all!) Many other Kitchen Partners are emerging from fun, unexpected directions.

Here's some quotes from the piece (links below):

"The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen in Mineral Point is giving entrepreneurs and small businesses a chance to succeed by providing the facilities and resources needed to get off the ground."

Sue: "This facility will allow us to do a lot of collection and processing of food as it emerges from the garden, and then allow us to use it year-round in a product, as a stable product on the shelf."

Matt: "In order to get it into a licensed retail shop, you have to have certain certifications and all the requirements that must be met. That's when I started to look for a place to produce it out of."

Janet: "They buy so much here, sugar, large quantities. Purchasing through them, we can get it at a much better price."

I loved the way this piece opened: "For those who have a 'one of a kind recipe' in the kitchen, turning that special dish into a business is not an easy journey. But one professional kitchen is helping upstart businesses get their feet in the door."

Welcome to our first three Kitchen Partners!

And to everyone else, welcome to the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen!

We're organizing ways to bring new Kitchen Partners into this opportunity.

Join us!

The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen in Mineral Point is giving entrepreneurs and small businesses a chance to succeed. WISC TV 3, Madison, WI

Print and video of this story on

The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen

Friday, July 23, 2010

Entrepreneur Club meeting Wed. July 28 - Food Packaging 101

Join us for our Iowa County Entrepreneur Club July 28th. 6 PM

Social gathering 5:30

July eClub meeting:
Food Packaging 101.

Curious about growing or starting a food business?

Have you ever wondered how the experts design and pick the right packaging for successful food products?

This month will be valuable to anyone growing or considering a food based business. Phil Strause from Infinity Packaging is an expert in the vital area of food packaging. Phil will walk us through the process the pros follow when helping customers choose and specify the right packaging for their food product starting with the basics.

Phil will briefly cover packaging safety and handling information, potential regulations, requirements and permits as well a packaging help for shipping, distribution and sales.

Bring all your food packaging questions! Phil will help us take our projects from idea to effective food packaging. Food Packaging 101 is designed to answer your questions. Join us!

Food Packaging 101
When: Wed. July 28, 2010 6 PM (Social gathering 5:30)
Where: Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen
851 Dodge St. Mineral Point, WI 53565

Save the upcoming dates:

Aug. 25 - Labeling solutions for food products (@ WI Innovation Kitchen)
Sep. 22 – Ways to plan and finance your business startup or expansion
(@ Stonefield Apts. in Dodgeville)
Oct. 27 - Entrepreneur Intellectual Property 101
(@ Stonefield Apts. in Dodgeville)

Location and Meeting Details:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010. There will be a social time beginning at 5:30 and the meeting will begin at 6 PM. The location is at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen, 851 Dodge St., Mineral Point WI. The event is free to the public.

Networking among attendees will be encouraged in the evening's program. "Our goal is to grow our network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, innovators and those that support them in the Iowa County area" said Rick Terrien, Executive Director of ICAEDC.

The Iowa County Area Entrepreneurs Club is an informational forum where entrepreneurs, inventors, existing businesses, new businesses and people thinking about starting their own businesses can come together to encourage each other and share challenges and opportunities. The group meets on a monthly basis, usually the fourth Wednesday of the month.

Join us! Bring a friend!

Iowa County, Wisconsin
Come Grow With Us

Iowa County area Entrepreneur Club

Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen information

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kiva update

I knew of but not the details until my friends Larry and Carol gave me a gift certificate which translated into funds to lend to micro entrepreneurs worldwide through KIVA.

Kiva connects people through lending to alleviate poverty.

What a rewarding journey that gift has provided ever since. This post is my current KIVA report.

Overall, As of December 25, 2009, Kiva has distributed $110,671,610 in loans from 631,345 lenders. A total of 157,207 loans have been funded. The average loan size is $401.66. Its current repayment rate is 98.13%

My first post about Kiva and my microloans in December of 2007.

Check out the results!

Existing /past loans:

Chantal Dolou. Lomé, Togo. 100% repaid!

Allahverdy Kuliyev. Absheron Region, Azerbaijan 100% repaid!

Srey Touch Nuon Group. Chheu Teal Phluos Village, Cambodia. 41% repaid. Right on target.

Josefina Aurora Castro Barrenechea. Cochabamba, Bolivia. 24% repaid. Right on target.

New loan:
Canal De Bendicion 6 Group. La Romana, Dominican Republic.
$1,550 loan request. Now fully funded.

This is all funded from a $100 gift from friends. home page. Check it out!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oh what a Grand Opening!

Oh my gosh. We expected about 250 people to attend last Sunday's Grand Opening of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen. More than 600 wonderful visitors joined us.

The media got it and helped the discussion in very useful ways. I'll put links below.

My favorite news sources for information about sustainable work in my region is the Sustainable Times, published and edited by George Zens. George did an excellent summation of the possibilities inherent in a facility like the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen in this month's issue. 10,000 copies are available through 350 locations in south central Wisconsin. The photos and the writing are excellent!

(one minor exception: George quotes me as saying there are 47 trillion ways to use this facility. I actually said about 47 trillion. I think there may be more… )

Some of the links below go right to the source. The TV links need to be searched using page numbers at the bottom of the video player section. Scroll back to find our date (July 11, 2010) and the title noted in the post below.

What a remarkable 'blessing' as Hodan Center Executive Director Tom Schraeder referred to our Grand Opening. I'm going to build a page on the Innovation Kitchen site that as a photo gallery of the Grand Opening and will post that link soon.

In no particular order here is a group of links to media about the Grand Opening of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

Enjoy! Everyone at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen, The Hodan Center and the Iowa County EDC sure did!

Thank you everyone who visited last Sunday or is just joining our journey.

Welcome to Iowa County Wisconsin and our wonderful new story!

Media coverage of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen


Our first Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen TV interview. 7/9/10. "If you've ever dreamed of growing or starting your own food business but didn't have the capital to start from scratch, opportunity may await you with the Grand Opening of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen." Thank you Carleen Wild, NBC TV 15 and

Your stories: Grand Opening for the Innovation Kitchen. 7/11/10. "In addition to allowing emerging or established food entrepreneurs access to the facility, the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen also has business and marketing assistance available to its clients." Thank you Chris Papst, NBC 15 and

Innovation Kitchen offers opportunity for entrepreneurs. 7/11/10. "Anyone can prepare their own recipes in the one million dollar kitchen, and can actually sell them. The facility also has its own food processing services. Owners say the kitchen will create jobs and give farmers and food entrepreneurs access to tools and equipment." Thank you TV 27 and


Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen will be boon to region. "This is a big shiny spaceship that has landed in rural Wisconsin". Wisconsin State Journal. 7/9/10. Thank you Jane Burns and MADISON.COM

Sustainable Times. July 2010 (No. 66), page 1. Great story and photos. Now available at 350 outlets across south central Wisconsin. Not yet online. Will link ASAP Thank you Sustainable Times.

Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen Offers Opportunity for Food Entrepreneurs.
"It's a food Ferrari." Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Network. Thanks WEN network.

Iowa County's Hodan Center mixes business and service to help disabled adults Great article in the Wisconsin State Journal about the Hodan Center, featured on the weekend of our Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen Grand Opening. Thank you Jane Burns and MADISON.COM


New enterprise hopes to bring fresh, local food to the masses. Scroll the Wisconsin Public Radio archives for 7/12/10. "A first of its kind commercial kitchen is opening in Mineral Point this week. The goal of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen is to help family farmers and small restaurants get their specialty foods on to supermarket shelves in southern Wisconsin." Thank you Gil Halsted and WPR.

Photo credits

Top photo courtesy of The Dodgeville Chronicle Thank you Jean Berns Jones!

Bottom photo courtesy of E. Terrien

The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen is open for business!

Friday, July 09, 2010

First TV interview about the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen

We had our first TV interview about the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen today on NBC 15 in Madison, with Host Carleen Wild.

To see this, go to the link below.

There is a video player on the right. Below the player are icons for individual stories. When you scroll over the icon you can read the description.

Ours says "VIDEO: Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen 7/9/10". Three minutes long.

Because this aired this morning it has been bumped to inner pages by newer pieces. You will need to scroll backward to find the Innovation Kitchen interview, using the links below the story icons.

Thank you very much Carleen Wild, NBC TV 15 and! podcast. Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen Interview. Scroll back to 7/9/10 and this title.

Photo above is of our Hobart Vertical Chopper Mixer (VCM). This also mixes bread and baking doughs at commercial scale.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Innovation Kitchen summary prior to launch

The Grand Opening of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen is next Sunday, July 11.

I've been working to hone down the introduction of the facility to something useful that people can use to take action steps.

This will surely morph as new information arrives, but this is where we are headed as the Innovation Kitchen launches this week:


• A new 10,000 square foot commercial food processing kitchen at 851 Dodge St., Mineral Point in Iowa County, WI. Opening July 11, 2010.

• Owned by the Hodan Center, a center supporting adults with disabilities.

• Their food lines, sold under the Papa Pat's Farmhouse Recipes brand, are sold in more than 700 stores in 26 states.

• Their new kitchen to be shared with food businesses and food entrepreneurs and the wider community.

• State-inspected, community-shared commercial kitchen strategically located at the heart of 35 million people.

• Only community shared kitchen in the U.S. with professional food processing staff available.

• The Innovation Kitchen staff can provide all services needed to professionally prepare recipes for commercial sale. Services include, purchasing, preparation, processing, packaging, labeling, storage, distribution, as well as in-house business, marketing and sales support.

• With appropriate certifications Innovation Kitchen Partners can rent the Innovation Kitchen on an hourly basis to process their own recipes.

• Four separate preparation process can be carried out simultaneously: baking, canning, dehydration, and dry mix production.

• In-house business support is available through our Entrepreneur In Residence program.

Three key opportunities:

1. Existing food businesses can grow their enterprises and create new jobs using shared infrastructure, equipment, and services. We help others grow and create jobs.

2. New food businesses can startup affordably in a state-certified commercial kitchen. We have Partner programs to support most kinds of business startups.

3. Non-food businesses and organizations can support their own businesses as well as local foods. We can private label local food products using your brand and logo.

Four Partner Programs:
Two Primary. Two Community Support

Partners create mutual support and benefit.


1. Preparation Partners. The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen prepares your recipe for you.

2. Processing Partners. You prepare your recipe in the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.


3. Event / Education Partners. You produce a food related special event utilizing the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

4. Purchasing Partners. We provide ingredients, packaging and related food processing materials for Partners working in the kitchen or Partners in the community needing commercial quantities of food grade supplies for their own operations.

Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen

Friday, July 02, 2010

Innovation Kitchen photo tour

Iowa County and our entire region is getting set for the Grand Opening of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen in Mineral Point on July 11.

Here is the first photo tour of the kitchen equipment. We posted this tour to the site map late today.

Tour equipment and capabilities at the Innovation Kitchen.