Deuel Community Kitchen
DCK Kitchen Incubator -- We are Looking for Chefs!
Wanted! Individuals that have a favorite recipe they'd like to market! Contact DADi!!
We will help you get it off the ground. Contact DADi to begin the process!! 605.874.8038
The DCK began with a USDA Rural Business Enterprised Grant. It was one of several projects but included business and kitchen incubators. With DADi and with the assistance of Dakota Rural Action and Deubrook School District the Deuel Community Kitchen came to fruition. A kitchen incubator committee was established in 2012 consisting of Joan Sacrison, DADi Executive Director, Robin Nelson, Dakota Rural Action; Kristianna Gehant; Prairie Coteau Farm in Astoria, and Kim James; Foodtopia Farms of Toronto. Relatively a new concept for this area of the country, DADi was blazing a new trail.The public was invited to an informational meeting to find out more about what a ‘Kitchen Incubator’ is and how it can pertain to them.
What Is a Kitchen Incubator?
Incubators make it financially possible for a start-up food manufacturer to take advantage of available professional kitchen space while they grow their business. This commercial kitchen facility is available to producers and packagers of specialty and gourmet food, caterers, and individual chefs that want to get their special recipe off and running in Deuel County. Those individuals who want to take a special recipe to market or create a food or natural resource business will want to consider the use of this kitchen. This kitchen is for start-ups and existing food processors.
Most start-up food enterprises begin in a home kitchen. But the home kitchen becomes a liability because of special licensing that is required and laws that prevent the home kitchen recipe when it goes to the marketplace. Legally then the start-up food enterprise must manufacture their product from a professional kitchen. This is where the Deuel Community Kitchen comes in. The chefs will be able to offer long or short-term leases at reasonable rates on a flexible time-share basis. Food entrepreneurs become ‘legal’ by working in this certified kitchen space because it in turn can be inspected more easily.
So available to the entrepreneurs are professional standard ovens, refrigerators, mixers, food processors, storage space, worktables, pots and pans, utensils and locked storage space. This professional space will have a list of requirements in using the space, but also guidelines that will need to be followed when using the kitchen. The entrepreneurs enter into an agreement with the facility, DADi and each other. Using a kitchen incubator is a relatively new concept and definitely in a rural setting.
Once a product is ready for marketing, DADi can help with a business plan and making connections with the Small Business Administration. The Business Resource Center in the DADi office has a privacy office and it can be used for making contacts with the use of a computer, fax, copier and phone system. Products will need to be labeled and marketed.
If financing is necessary, then a formal business plan becomes a requirement. Those that want to be taken seriously need to ask themselves some of the following questions: 1) Who are you? What is your product and how is it different than your competitor’s? 2) Who is your client base? 3) Who is your competition and what are they doing? 3) How much does your product cost you to manufacture, package, labor, and then how much can you sell it for? 5) Where do you want to be in 2 years?
Obstacles and Concerns
USDA toured the DCK in the summer of 2014. It is their hope that other small communities with available licensed kitchens use DCK as a model. DCK was originally started in a restaurant that ended up closing their doors. This is something to remember when using an existing local business for the incubator. Finding another location was not easy. Other items to consider when starting a kitchen: location to 'chefs', insurance, Serv-Safe licensing, kitchen inspections and licensing, Department of Health regulations, working within the kitchen's availability and with staff, finding chefs to use the kitchen, marketing and determination, and promotion.
DCK Incubator Guidelines, Check Sheet, Application
DCK requires an Application and one-time fee for joining the kitchen that is payable to DADi. There is also a daily fee for use of the kitchen that is paid to the school. This is a very responsible program supported by the Deubrook School District. A chef is required to do an orientation with the Kitchen Manager, read the Guidelines sheet and fill out the checklist. This checklist accompanies their daily fee for use of the kitchen.
New Versions as of December 2019:
Chefs that have used the kitchen:
Chef Kristianna Gehand-Siddens (Prairie
Chefs Samantha and Wade Solem (Humble
Chef Jenilee Schleusner (Day of the Dead
Chef John and Little Shire Farm
We are happy that some of our chefs that have used the kitchen or have started there have moved on to continue their business. We're happy to see success come from their start!!