FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I get started at the kitchen? >>
How many vendors share the kitchen? >>
Do you allow members to have relationships with 3rd party delivery services for individual order pickup? >>
HELP, I'M LOOKING FOR THE KITCHEN AND I'M LOST
Seattle Commissary Kitchen's "Marginal" location is located in the South Seattle Business Park at 4634 E Marginal Way South in Seattle. We are in Suite E-120. Unfortunately, there are TWO driveways for that address, and we are the second driveway off E Marginal Way. We have a large blue Seattle Commissary Kitchen sign outside of the correct driveway - if you're in the right place, you can't miss it!
How will you know if you've pulled into the wrong parking lot? First, you won't see our sign. Second, if you look around and see about 30 parking spot, with a building on your left and one on your right, you are in the wrong lot. Simply go back out to E Marginal Way S, and go one driveway further to a small lot with about 6 parking spots, and signs that say Seattle Commissary Kitchen that's the correct lot.
Our "Stadium" location is nearby Safeco Field, at 1740 1st Ave S in Seattle, just South of the Showbox Sodo in a tan-colored, one story, stand-alone building. We have a banner that you can see from 1st Avenue.
WHAT KIND OF FOOD VENDORS RENT FROM SEATTLE COMMISSARY KITCHEN?
All kinds! We currently are the home of the following types of food companies:
Wholesale food producers
Restaurant overflow prep
Healthy meal delivery companies
Farmer's market producers
Direct retail-to-customer food sales
DO I NEED A BUSINESS LICENSE TO MAKE RESERVATIONS IN THE KITCHEN?
Yes, our insurance requires that we only rent to companies with a valid business license. If you do not have a license, consider registering with the State of Washington as a sole proprietor (this only costs about $20 and you can get your license right away), and then when you're ready to register your LLC or Corporation, you can. ^^
WHY JOIN A COMMUNITY KITCHEN?
There are a ton of fantastic reasons to join a community kitchen. For one, commercial kitchen space in the Seattle area is limited and finding leases can be a challenge. If you don't want to spend all the money to put together a commercial kitchen, purchase equipment, and get it licensed, or if you don't need the kind of dedicated space a bigger company might need, joining a community kitchen can be just the thing you need. Also, having access to a community of people who are all passionate about food and serving people and who want to share resources is pretty awesome! ^^
HOW DO I GET STARTED AT THE KITCHEN?
Come and meet us for a friendly tour. If you decide to move forward, we'll have you do these things to get started:
Pay a one-time $100 non-refundable application fee.
Fill out some paperwork.
Sign a Membership Agreement (we will email you the link once you're ready to sign up), pick a starting date, and pay your first invoice.
Provide copies of documentation such as driver's license/identification, business license and business insurance.
As applicable, file for and obtain your King County department of health retail permit or WSDA permit. This will likely involve an inspection appointment with the applicable food inspection organization.
WHAT KIND OF FOOD SERVICE BUSINESS PERMIT DO I NEED?
Different types of food businesses require different types of permits. Generally speaking, retailers need to obtain a license with the King County Health Department, and wholesalers need to obtain a food processor license from the WSDA.
To learn more,
Visit the King County Health Department website to learn about permitting.
HOW MANY VENDORS SHARE THE KITCHEN?
Vendor numbers vary each day based on day of week, time of day, and the overall number of stations being reserved by each member. It is reasonable to assume there will be anywhere from 5-10 vendors present at any given time. ^^
DO YOU ALLOW KITCHEN MEMBERS TO HAVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH 3RD PARTY DELIVERY SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUAL ORDER PICK UP?
Yes! Several third-party delivery services such as UberEATS, Postmates, and BiteSquad currently come to our locations, and you are welcome to set up accounts for your food to be picked up when your staff is present. ^^
WHAT IS THE SINK AND DISHWASHER SITUATION?
At our Marginal Way location, we have two 3-compartment sinks with commercial dishwashers, 1 double-sided prep sink, and 2 handwashing sinks. At our Stadium location, we have one 3-compartment sink, and 2 commercial dishwashers, multiple hand washing sinks, and a mop sink. At our International kitchen we have a 3-compartment sink with commercial dishwasher and handwashing sinks. ^^
MY BUSINESS IS CERTIFIED IN ANOTHER COUNTY. IS MY HEALTH DEPARTMENT CERTIFICATION VALID?
WHAT KIND OF KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT DO YOU HAVE ON SITE THAT I CAN USE?
Marginal Location: We have two 6-top stove gas ranges, 4 convection ovens, a large tilt skillet, a deep fryer, a large mixer, warming boxes to keep food warm as needed, Excalibur dehydrators, a DoughPro, Vitamix Blender, RobotCoupe food processor, meat slicer (license required), and two complete dishwashing areas! We also have speed racks, carts, and pots and pans, but do not provide small wares such as spatulas, utensils, colanders, and cutting boards.
Stadium Location: We have one 6-top stove gas ranges, 4 convection ovens, a large tilt skillet, a large mixer, warming boxes to keep food warm as needed, Excalibur dehydrators, Vitamix Blender, a RobotCoupe food processor, a steamer oven, and more! We also have speed racks, carts, and general wares such as pots and pans. This location also has an ice machine where you can get very inexpensive ice. ^^
FOR EACH RESERVATION PERIOD, HOW MANY HOURS PER DAY ARE INCLUDED?
Morning and afternoon/evening rentals are generally for 9 hours at a time. The graveyard rental period is for 6 hours at a time. The rental period is the full period of time available and must be ready for the next member at the conclusion of your company's time slot. Monthly rentals are valid every day of the month, including weekends.
Shorter shifts (for example, 4-hours) are sometimes available, but we do not guarantee to have shorter shifts, and they are often unavailable. If you are interested in regularly using the kitchen for shorter periods of time (as a regular monthly user), this decision is made on a case-by-case; please discuss with us when you book an appointment. ^^
ARE THERE ANY 24/7 MONTHLY RESERVATIONS AVAILABLE?
We offer 24/7 access to kitchen members who take both the morning and afternoon time-slots, waving the graveyard access fee so that you have access to the tables 24/7. However, we find that most vendors are able to complete their work during one of the 9-hour shifts and would prefer to have additional tables than to have 24/7 access. ^^
ARE THE KITCHENS WSDA, USDA, OR FDA CERTIFIED?
Certification is on an individual vendor-by-vendor basis. We do have many vendors who are certified through the WSDA to produce their products at our kitchen, and the kitchens are registered with the FDA as a Food Facility. ^^
WHAT ARE THE INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS?
All members operating in the kitchen must be covered by their own insurance policy. Our insurance company requires that our vendors carry $1,000,000 of liability insurance, and that Seattle Commissary Kitchen, and our landlord are named as "Additionally Insured" on the ACORD certificate. Address information and landlord name will be provided upon signing up with our kitchen.
We highly recommend that you request rates from Shari Lofquist with C. Don Filer Insurance. This company provides insurance for a large number of our members and offers the best, competitive rates around, and can have you insured in as a little as one day. Call (206) 545-4800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. ^^
WHAT ELSE DOES THE KITCHEN OFFER?
Plenty! The founder of Seattle Commissary Kitchen owns her own food business (a school lunch delivery service) and our team is experienced and passionate about small food business -- we are a wealth of knowledge and can help you through the startup process!
We also have a community chat board where you can message with other members who can provide many valuable insights that will save time and effort if you use them! Our commissary kitchen is a community at heart.