What is a commercial kitchen?
In order to legally make food for consumption, purchase, or resale, it must be entirely prepared in an approved commercial kitchen facility. It is not legally possible to prepare food for sale out of your home.
How does The Culinary Studio work?
We provide two separate kitchens for hourly rent. Each kitchen is fully certified to produce food for sale. When you reserve a kitchen, that kitchen is exclusively yours for the entire reservation time. You pay only for the hours you use, no membership fees or other add-ons.
What do I need to do to start running my business at The Culinary Studio?
Before reserving kitchen time for your business with The Culinary Studio, clients must:
Please note that licenses are renewed yearly in April and it is the client’s responsibility to make sure we receive a copy of the new license.
- Have signed the latest Operating Agreement with The Culinary Studio, and received The Culinary Studio Policy Handbook.
- Provide proof of an approved Certified Food Service Manager Certification, and carry the original certificate during any kitchen use. At least one staff person with your business must be a Certified Food Service Manager when using The Culinary Studio. See FAQ for types of Food Service Manager Certifications.
Please note that your business insurance is renewed yearly and it is the client’s responsibility to make sure we receive a copy of the renewed insurance policy.
- Provide proof of product liability insurance coverage, with a minimum of $1 million dollars per occurrence and $2 million aggregate, with The Culinary Studio listed as additional insured, and maintain such policy for the duration of any kitchen use. See Insurance Resources.
- Pay a one-time refundable security deposit of $300.
What Food Service Manager Certifications are accepted by The Culinary Studio?
Certifications approved in Michigan include Servsafe, Thompson/Prometric (formerly Experior) and the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals. Please note that these certificates are good for a maximum of five years from the date of issue. Certified managers may not be “shared” between two facilities. All of the certifications mentioned above are national certifications. Food Handler certificates are not accepted. The Michigan Restaurant Association provides testing for ServSafe.
What if I just want to use the kitchen to cook for my family or private event?
Simply call us at 248.353.2500 to inquire about availability. You will also be required to sign a Release Form stating that the food you are producing will not be sold.
How much does it cost to use The Culinary Studio?
We have a tiered pricing structure designed to help growing businesses by lowering prices as you reserve more monthly hours. Our pricing grid can be found on our website and in our brochure. While our pricing may seem complicated, we have designed it to help businesses overcome the hurdle of going from a small, part-time business to a full-time enterprise, while still ensuring that our kitchens are affordable for anyone.
I want my kids to help out. Is there a minimum age for your kitchen?
All employees or helpers at The Culinary Studio must be supervised by an owner or manager with a valid Food Service Manager Certification. No children younger than 14 are allowed in the kitchen at any time. Children are expected to remain with you in your reserved kitchen.
I have all of the required documentation. What are the next steps?
Simply call us at The Culinary Studio when Oakland County Health Department or Michigan Department of Agriculture representatives are ready to schedule your inspection/licensing. We will assign you a kitchen and time for your inspection/licensing. You will be required to pay for your use of the kitchen for this process based on the hourly rate. This process usually takes 2-3 hours, but may take longer with the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Once licensed you must provide the food service manager certification and liability insurance, we will provide the Client Agreement, Policies and Procedures and Standard Operating Procedures. Your schedule will be created and you will also receive your exclusive building access code. Then you will be able to access our facility during your scheduled use.
How do I list my business in the Client section of your website?
Once you become a client of The Culinary Studio, your logo, business description and website will be sent to our webmaster to be linked to our website.
How do I know if I need a Manufacturing License?
If you plan to sell to a restaurant, retail store, Farmer’s Market or any other resale location, you will likely need one. You should contact The Michigan Department of Agriculture – Toll Free: (800)292-3939.
How do I make an appointment to tour the facility?
Please contact our office at 248.353.2500 to request a tour. One of our team members will return your call and schedule a time for your tour. We are very careful not to schedule tours when our tenants are running their businesses and the kitchen is extremely busy.
Where do I make a reservation? Can I call?
Can The Culinary Studio serve as a commissary for my mobile food unit?
We are not properly equipped to serve as a commissary for mobile units. However, you may use our kitchens to prepare food for sale through a mobile unit.
How much storage is available?
Our storage space is limited for the walk-in cooler/freezer and dry storage. Storage for clients will be managed on demand and we will do the best we can to accommodate storage and the fee will be discussed at that time.
Is there a minimum amount of hours that must be used?
Each client is required to book a minimum of eight (8) hours per month. You cannot be licensed to use our kitchens and then not use the kitchen. This comes to approximately two (2) hours per week. Oakland County Health Department and The Michigan Department of Agriculture monitor the hours used by each business to make sure they are using their licenses accordingly and not working from an unlicensed facility.
When do I need to reserve kitchen time?
Calendars will be available for the current month and the following month. For example, in January, you can reserve time during January and February. On February 1st, March's calendar will become available for sign-up. Hours are reserved on a first-reserved, first-served basis. If you need use of the kitchen for one-time or drop-in use, 24 hour notice is usually sufficient, if there is time available.
When do I pay for kitchen usage?
Payment is due when making your reservation and prior to your use of the kitchen. If you are reserving multiple blocks of time for the month, your advance payment is needed to reserve those times. Likewise, in the case of one-time or drop-in use, payment will be required prior to using the kitchen.
What if I don't use all of my hours for the month?
Hours cannot be credited to the following month. We understand that it is hard to estimate how many hours you'll need, but due to the nature of the business, it is extremely important that you try to estimate as accurately as possible, as hours cannot be credited to the following month.
What if I need to buy extra hours in a month?
If there is unreserved time available, additional hours can be purchased at the same rate you're paying for that month.
Does each person clean up after themselves?
Yes, we provide a checklist to be followed when using our kitchens. While we don't expect you to wash the walls, you should leave the kitchen the way you'd like it to look when you come in. That basically means: wash your dishes, wipe down dirty equipment and surfaces, sweep, and mop.
Is The Culinary Studio a franchise concept or chain?
No, The Culinary Studio is an original concept, founded and managed by current owners, Cassandra Morrison and Jo Coleman. Our Southfield flagship is the first of its kind in the Metro Detroit area.
Information concerning the food service plan review is available on the Oakland County website at: http://www.oakgov.com/health/info_pub/eh_food_planreview.html, with additional food safety information at http://www.oakgov.com/health/assets/Documents/EH/eh_food_relatedlinks.html. There are links to the Michigan Food Law and Certified Food Service Manager information available at that address.
Fee information is available at: http://www.oakgov.com/health/program_service/eh_food.html.
Kimberly D. Jenkins, CBIA
Business Insurance Account Specialist
First Citizens Insurance Services
888-322-4678 ext. 4238
Al Bourdeau Insurance Agency
30777 Northwestern Highway
Farmington Hills, MI 48333