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KITCHEN INCUBATOR

Grow your business in one of our licensed commissary kitchens.

Launch, Grow, and Scale Your Food-Based Business

What is a kitchen incubator?

We provide commercial kitchen space for food-based startups to gain permitting, interact with customers, and grow their business. Beyond a physical space set up with smallwares + equipment, we also connect our kitchen members to educational opportunities through our programming and to our community of members.

Who is Catapult equipped to serve?

As an incubator, it is the goal for each of our companies to start at Catapult and eventually launch into spaces of their own. We are designed to serve categories such as:

•    Consumer Packaged Goods Businesses: Startups that produce items that could be found on a grocery store shelf such as dry mixes, packaged snacks, bottled beverages, etc.

•    Pre-Brick and Mortar Businesses: Concepts with the goal of a restaurant location or retail operation, but currently operating on a pop-up basis.

Unfortunately, at this time, we are not set up to accommodate the needs of hot dog carts or grey water disposal.

How does membership work?

After a member is accepted into the kitchen incubator, we charge an hourly rate for commercial kitchen usage. Our model scales with our businesses as they start small and grow into greater hourly usage.

 $10/hr. for kitchen usage

$5/hr. for off-peak kitchen usage (10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.)

10 hr. monthly minimum ($100.00 minimum per month)

Customized storage pricing

Complimentary coworking membership

What equipment is located in the kitchen?

We operate two commercial kitchens and have the following items located in our space:

• Convection ovens

• Gas ranges

• Industrial mixers

• Deli slicer

• Prep tables

• Dry, cold, and freezer storage

• Smallwares

How do I apply for membership?

The first step towards kitchen membership is filling out an interest form. This short form (just a dozen quick questions) allows Catapult to get a snapshot of your business. Our kitchen director will reach out to schedule a tour of the kitchen after the form submission.

After an interest form is submitted, the next step is a tour of the kitchen to learn about we can offer. Catapult staff is available Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to give tours of our space. Email maggie@catapultlakeland.com to schedule a tour with our kitchen director.
We require an interview and product tasting prior to acceptance for kitchen membership. This is a time for us to get to know your business and understand what you are bringing to Lakeland from a culinary perspective. Interviews are scheduled after the interest form has been received.

 

After acceptance into the kitchen, we require the following items:

Food Managers Certification – SafeStaff.org  is a great place to find classes hosted in the area. Alternatively, EventBrite has course listings posted on their website. Manager level certification is required for the business owner.

Liability Insurance – You’ll need insurance for operating in a commercial kitchen. FLIP is a great resource about insurance for food entrepreneurs. 

Business Bank Account – This is required to set up payments in our system. Here  is some information about opening a small business bank account.  

Employer Identification Number – Also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. You may apply for an EIN in various ways, and now you may apply online.

 

 

After membership acceptance, you will need a permit from either the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, depending on what you serve and how you serve it. The kitchen director is able to provide guidance in this area.

A $50.00 per month retainer fee applies to each kitchen member business in the interim between Catapult acceptance and permitting through FDBPR or FDACS. Once permitting is complete and kitchen operation begins, the retainer fee ends and the monthly minimum model is applied.

How does Catapult provide ongoing support?

As a kitchen, we strive to promote our members and provide opportunities for education. Check out our EventBrite page to view upcoming and past events. Below are recurring events hosted by our kitchen incubator.

 

  • ServSafe Food Managers Training and Certification: We offer this course on a quarterly basis to earn ServSafe certification to satisfy regulatory requirements.

 

  • Taste of Catapult: We showcase our kitchen members through a tasting-style event open to our community.

 

  • Crafted at Catapult Market: We partner with the Downtown Farmers Curb Market to set up with our kitchen members at their Saturday market.

Do you have more questions about our kitchen?

Starting a food based business can be a confusing process. We are here to help!

Contact our kitchen director, Maggie with any questions about our incubator kitchen. We would love to meet you and give you a tour of our space.

Catapult is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and a staff member is always available for space tours.

To schedule a tour with our kitchen director, or for specific questions, reach out to Maggie by email at maggie@catapultlakeland.com or by phone at (863) 940-9660.