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. There are TWO driveways for that address. Our front entrance is in 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 spots, with a building on your left and a building on your right, you are in the wrong lot. Simply go back out to E Marginal Way S and turn right. We are located in the next driveway on the right, in a small lot with about 6 parking spots, and signs that say Seattle Commissary Kitchen. You are in the right spot!
Our "Stadium" location is near 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.
Our "International" location is located at 1222 South Weller St in Seattle, just 1 block West of Rainier Ave S. ↑
WHAT KIND OF FOOD VENDORS RENT FROM SEATTLE COMMISSARY KITCHEN?
All kinds! We are currently home to the following types of food companies:
Meal delivery businesses
Wholesale food producers
Restaurant overflow prep
Farmer's market producers
Direct retail-to-customer food sales
Event producers ↑
DO I NEED A BUSINESS LICENSE TO BECOME A MEMBER?
Yes, our insurance requires that we only have members with a valid business license. If you do not have a license, consider registering with the State of Washington as a sole proprietor, 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?
Book a phone call today to chat about your business! 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 start 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.
Attend our New Member Orientation. ↑
WHAT KIND OF FOODSERVICE 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,
Retailers: Visit the King County Health Department website to learn about permitting.
Wholesalers: Visit the WSDA website ↑
HOW MANY VENDORS SHARE THE KITCHEN?
Vendor numbers vary each day based on the day of the 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 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. ↑
MY BUSINESS IS CERTIFIED IN ANOTHER COUNTY. IS MY HEALTH DEPARTMENT CERTIFICATION VALID?
No, you must be certified by King County's Health Department to use Seattle Commissary Kitchen. We will be happy to cooperate with your permitting process with King County. ↑
WHAT KIND OF KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT DO YOU HAVE ON SITE THAT I CAN USE?
We have commercial gas ranges, industrial convection ovens, large tilt skillets, industrial mixers, warming boxes to keep food warm as needed, blenders, food processors, ice machines and 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. ↑
FOR EACH RESERVATION PERIOD, HOW MANY HOURS PER DAY ARE INCLUDED?
We have three shifts in the kitchen. A morning shift, an afternoon shift and a graveyard shift. The morning and afternoon shifts are both 9 hours in length. The graveyard shift is 6 hours in length. The shift 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 reservations 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 basis; please discuss with us when you book a phone call. ↑
ARE THERE ANY 24/7 MONTHLY RESERVATIONS AVAILABLE?
Yes! 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 liability insurance and that both 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.
If you need a business insurance referral, no problem! We have great referrals for local insurance agents. ↑
WHAT ELSE DOES THE KITCHEN OFFER?
Plenty! The founder of Seattle Commissary Kitchen owns her own catering 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.
We also offer references for members who are eventually seeking to rent their own production space. ↑