LOCAVORE COMMERCIAL KITCHEN
FAQ for Locavore Commercial Kitchen
Why should I use a commercial kitchen?
We have a licensed facility where you'll be able to make and legally sell your product to the general public.
How do I know if I'm covered under Texas Cottage Food Laws?
Texas allows small businesses that make certain products to prepare their food at home under the Texas Cottage Food laws, but they are restricted in how or where they sell their products. To view the products that are covered under TCFL visit this website: . In addition to restricting certain products from being prepared at home, TCFL products are not allowed to be sold online, shipped, or sold to retail locations for resale. Businesses with sales of over $50,000 must transition to a commercial kitchen, as they no longer quality for Texas Cottage Food laws.
How can I join the Locavore family?
1) Fill out the kitchen rental application:
2) Have a valid Food Manager's Certificate
3 ) Review and electronically sign the agreement form (kitchen agreement, member agreement, and hold harmless agreement )
4) Pay the $125 application fee
5) Read the Shared Kitchen Manual
Can I take a tour of the kitchen?
Sure you can! Here is a virtual tour of the kitchen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKmD0BbYyUQ&
How do I rent the kitchen?
It’s easy! All food businesses schedule their kitchen time online through our user-friendly online scheduling software.
Will I need keys to access the kitchen?
Nope. Our state-of-the-art commercial kitchen utilizes keypad entrance for the gated parking lot and commercial kitchen entrance.
What hours are your kitchens open?
Our kitchens are open 24/7.
Other kitchens have monthly minimums. Do you?
No, we don’t have a monthly minimum. We understand you may only need to use the kitchen a few times a year and you are penalized for it.
What are the minimum hours I can rent the kitchen?
We don’t have a monthly minimum, but we do require that each time a renter is in the kitchen it’s for at least 3 hours at $25 per hour.
What does the kitchen rental include?
At Locavore, you aren’t limited to just a few prep tables. You get the entire kitchen to yourself to fully maximize your kitchen time with your team.
What kind of equipment do you have in the kitchen?
Each kitchen has all equipment listed on our website on the kitchen page.
Do you have any smallwares I can use?
Yes, the kitchen has basic smallwares available for client use, including pots, pans, cutting boards, knives, etc… We always suggest bring what you’ll need for your first visit and taking a picture of the smallwares inventory once you’re in the kitchen, so you’ll know what else you can bring.
Can I store my ingredients or products in the kitchen?
Yes, we do have temporary cold storage that you can use while you’re in the kitchen – mainly for cooling purposes. Additionally, we have cold, frozen, and dry storage available for rent on a monthly basis.
Is there a minimum age for people in your kitchen?
We do not allow anyone younger than age 14 in the kitchen. Anyone younger than 17 years old must be under the supervision of an adult with a food manager’s certificate at all times.
Can I bring in my own equipment?
Of course, you can, as long as it is commercial rated and there is enough space.
Am I responsible for cleaning up after using the kitchen?
Absolutely. Clients are required to properly clean and sanitize all surfaces and floors, included within the kitchen rental period.
Can I get a discount for renting the kitchen full-time?
Yes, let’s talk about getting you a discounted package for bulk hours.
Do I need a food manufacturer's license?
Firms that manufacture food for sale to the public in the following manner are required to have a Food Manufacturer license with DSHS.
This includes any firm that engages in the following activities:
Processing and/or packaging any food product, including dietary supplements, ice, and water, for wholesale distribution or for sale via retail customer self-service.
Selling vended or bottled water or bagging ice.
Repackaging food products (eg. repacking candy into smaller or larger packages), for wholesale distribution or for sale via retail customer self-service.
Any Texas firm that places their name and address on a product label, even though another firm (co-packer) actually produces the product. This is called "private labeling." A private labeler is required to obtain a Food Manufacturer license.
Packaging food and displaying the packaged food for customer self-service. This includes all retail food service operations that package and display food in this manner.
What are some examples of businesses requiring a Food Manufacturer's License?
Examples include but are not limited to the following food operations:
Bottling/Canning plants producing sauces, salsa, condiments, jams, jellies, canned vegetables and fruit
Bottling/Canning plants producing water, soft drinks, fruit juice, vegetable juice
Dietary supplement manufacturing and distributing (see the Dietary Supplements page)
Grocery stores with meat markets, delicatessens, or bakeries that package and display food for retail customer self-service
Ice bagging or wholesaling
Juice packaging (see the Juice HACCP page)
Packaging cut produce/vegetables, shelling and packaging nuts, and firms washing/packaging produce in a separate location from the farm where it was grown
Restaurants and other food service operations providing food packaged on-site via a retail customer self-service display
Seafood processors (see the Seafood HACCP page)
Water vending/bottling (see the Bottled and Vended Water program)
To obtain a Food Manufacturer license application, go to the Applications/Forms page: https://www.dshs.texas.gov