Frequently Asked Questions:

The following is a listing of common questions about commercial kitchens, becoming a client, using the kitchen, and setting up your business.

Commercial Kitchen Information:

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.  A commercial kitchen must have all appliances, equipment, materials, and the facility itself in compliance with all local codes and regulations.

Can my kitchen at home be a commercial kitchen?

It is not legally possible to prepare food for sale out of your home.  Any kitchen that is also used as a residence is not in compliance with local codes.  Without a massive retrofit or construction of a completely separate structure, your home kitchen cannot be a commercial kitchen.

But my neighbor sells cupcakes from their house; and I bought a birthday cake from a friend at Church.  They prepare their food from home.

While there are individuals and small businesses operating in this manner, depending on the product it may not be in compliance with state law.  Concerns over food safety and food borne illnesses have forbidden this practice with a few exceptions – see www.texascottagefoodlaw.com.  The Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER), Section 229.167(d)(10) states: A private home, a room used as living or sleeping quarters, or an area directly opening into a room used as living or sleeping quarters may not be used for conducting food establishment operations.

So how does your facility work?

We provide a licensed facility where you can legally sell your food product to the general public.  Once you become a client, you’ll have the ability to schedule by the hour access to an approved commercial kitchen for your personal or business needs.

Becoming a Client:

I’m interested, but I’m not sure if I’m ready.  Can you help me understand the kitchen and your requirements?

Absolutely.  We encourage anyone interested in becoming a client to call and discuss your specific needs.  Call us to talk about the requirements, ask questions, or even better yet to schedule a tour.  We can help you decide what may be the best approach for your unique needs.

What steps do I need to take to become a client?

There are six (6) items that we require before you can become a client and reserve space.  They are:
(1) At least one person with the business must have a valid Food Managers Certification from the City of Fort Worth;
(2) Any employees or assistants that will be  in the kitchen with you must have a valid Food Managers Certification or a valid Food Handlers Card from the City of Fort Worth;
(3) A general liability insurance policy with Elixir Enterprises LLC listed as an additional insured;
(4) A signed copy of the Operating Agreement;
(5) A signed copy of the Policy Guidebook; and
(6) A refundable security deposit.

What if I just want to use the kitchen to cook for my family (e.g. Easter or Thanksgiving)?

You’ll still need to comply with steps 4 through 6 above; plus we’ll ask that you sign an agreement stating that you won’t be preparing food for consumption by the general public.

I want my kids to help out.  Is there a minimum age for your kitchen?

All employees or helpers in the Kitchen will need a valid Food Handlers Card.  We ask that no children younger than 13 are in the kitchen with you at any time.

I’m ready to go – I have all six (6) requirements met.  What’s next?

Call to schedule an in person appointment for us to set up your account.  Once we get copies of all the necessary documents, we’ll set up your security account (24 hour access card and security system login) and your login for online scheduling access.  After that, you’ll be ready to reserve space as you need it.

Is there a minimum?

Yes, we have a $150 minimum usage requirement for each calendar quarter. So every three months you will need to use $150 worth of kitchen time.

Using the Kitchen:

My business requires special equipment that you don’t have in the kitchen right now.  Can I bring it in; or can I leave it there?

As long as your equipment is NSF or Commercial rated, it is probably OK.  Please call us with any special requests and we’ll work with you on any special arrangements that we need to make to accommodate you.

How do I schedule time to use the kitchen?

Once you have a client login, you have the ability to reserve either Kitchen up to three (3) months in advance.  The online schedule allows you to create a new reservation, check kitchen availability, and view your upcoming reservations.

Setting up Your Business:

Do I need any other permits to sell my product?

Most likely, yes.  While not a requirement to use our kitchens, you will likely need additional permits to legally sell your product.
(1) If you are selling to the general public for consumption, you will likely be required to have a food permit from the local jurisdiction in which you are selling your product.  Because we are a licensed facility, we’ll provide you with a copy of our most recent inspection for your use in obtaining the permit.  You’ll also need a Sales Tax and Use Permit.  Yes, you’ll likely need to charge sales tax on sales of most ready-to-eat foods.
(2) If you are selling to a restaurant, retail store, or other resale facility, you will need to obtain a manufacturing license from the State of Texas.  Once a client, our facility can become your physical manufacturing location.

Can you help me set up my business?

To some extent, yes.  We can certainly give you suggestions on an approach to setting up your business successfully.  We can also share with you our understanding of the permitting process that your business may be required to go through.  But keep in mind; we are not lawyers, financial planners, or business consultants.  You’ll ultimately need to decide what’s best for your business.

Can I get listed on your ‘Our Clients’ page on your website?

As long as you are a valid client, we’d be happy to include your business.  Simply send us a logo and a brief description of your business (no more than one paragraph) and we’ll add it to the list.