[Market-farming] commercial kitchen advice?

Jackie Jameson jacqueline.jameson at gmail.com
Thu Nov 15 09:25:13 EST 2012

Hi Rivka,  I haven't started one, but am familiar with the standards
because of my work.  If you are only doing fruit jams and baked goods, you
qualify for home processor license (where you use your kitchen).    This is
the home processor exemption page

If you're making anything else, you need a full commercial kitchen.  (That
includes dehydrated foods).  NY State regulates the kitchen in 20-C and
your local health department licenses you.  Products will need to get an
approved process, you'd probably use Cornell to do that.  This will assure
your process is safe.

Regarding construction cost: If you're processing by hand, you might
compare it to a restaurant kitchen.   Some of the things you'll need are

   - So you'll need a building, or renovate a room in a building that
   passes building code.
   - You'll need certain surfaces that can be washed (walls, ceilings,
   - specific kinds of light fixtures,
   - specific kinds of sinks,
   - a separate hand washing sink,
   - specific kinds of doors and windows,
   - a bathroom that meets certain requirements
   - a water heater,
   - a septic or sewer (many times you need a separate septic),
   - enough water for what you're making (if that's a well, you need a
   certain GPM),
   - you'll need to test well water initially and quarterly for coliform
   and other contaminants.
   - approved storage racks
   - approved storage room
   - all the equipment must be stainless and commercial grade

Your cost to build and license a commercial kitchen is going to depend on
which resources you already have, and your own cost of labor.  If you have
a builder in the family, your cost is must lower.

Hope that helps,

On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM, Road's End Farm <organic87 at frontiernet.net
> wrote:

> Hi --
> Has anyone on this list ever started a commercial kitchen according to New
> York State (or similar) standards? If so, could you tell me what materials
> you used, and how much did it cost?
> I'm looking at possibly dehydrating or canning excess produce, and can't
> sell such items legally here without a commercial kitchen. I would almost
> certainly have to put up a new building. Money is definitely a factor.
> Thanks --
> -- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 6A now I think
> Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
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