WHAT IS CHEFS CENTER?
Chefs Center is a nonprofit program that provides professional culinary business development services for entrepreneurs who want to start or expand a food-based business. Current entrepreneurs include food truck operators, farmers market vendors, legal street vendors, wholesalers who sell to retail markets, and others who want to start-up catering, restaurants, bakeries, and/or on-line businesses.
OUR SERVICES INCLUDE 5 ENTREPRENEURIAL STEPS:
1. Using health and safety approved shared commercial kitchens;
2. Receiving hands-on professional technical assistance while working in kitchens;
3. Accessing marketplaces to sell goods;
4. Exploring business practices and opportunities to start or grow your business through workshops;
5. Developing and refining your business through one-on-one counseling.
USING HEALTH AND SAFETY APPROVED SHARED COMMERCIAL KITCHENS.
The first and perhaps the biggest step is to use one of our affordable health and safety approved shared commercial kitchens. They include a wide-range of professional commercial equipment that will help you prepare your specialized product(s) from start to finish.
RECEIVING HANDS-ON PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE WHILE WORKING IN KITCHENS.
We highly recommend that you take advantage of our free hands-on technical assistance from our industry-minded professional staff while working in one of our kitchens. Assistance includes
• recipe development;
• scaling recipes to batch size;
• feedback on flavor profile;
• training concerning the use of our kitchen equipment.
ACCESSING MARKETPLACES TO SELL GOODS.
Chefs Center helps you gain access to marketplaces that include:
• wholesaling your product(s) to retailers such as supermarkets, stores, and outdoor markets;
• space at our Friday Food Fair and Artisanal Marketplace;
• space at our on-site holiday marketplace;
• space at public events that partner with Chefs Center concerning their food needs.
EXPLORING BUSINESS PRACTICES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO START OR GROW YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH WORKSHOPS.
Such workshops focus on developing business plans, marketing, social media, securing permits and licenses, procuring contracts with government and corporate organizations, obtaining a wholesale license, and access to capital. Workshops are free.
DEVELOPING AND REFINING YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH ONE-ON-ONE COUNSELING.
In addition to workshops, Chefs Center offers one-on-one counseling with industry experts to further the development of your business plan, marketing, social media, and all the other activities noted in step 4. Counseling is free.
Completing each of these steps will help you successfully start and expand your business.